1. Medication treatment trials: While the vast majority of such treatment trials at Dr. Holub's site involves the use of oral medication, occasional trials involve medications which are delivered through subcutaneous injection or periodic intravenous infusions. These programs last various intervals of time running anywhere from six months to a year and a half and are sometimes associated with extension programs, which permit the patient to have access to the actual medication for longer periods, sometimes years.
2. Some clinical trials at the Neurological Associates of Albany involve the development of new imaging procedures for Alzheimer's disease, as well as other biomarkers to assist in the identification of patients with this condition.
3. A third variety of study would involve the collection of epidemiologic data that can be used to learn more about the factors of environment and heredity, which affect the age of onset, course and severity of Alzheimer's disease.
4. The Neurological Associates of Albany also has intermittent trials directed towards the potential treatment of various symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease, such as depression, agitation, anxiety, etc. While it is important to pursue treatments, which may eventually lead to a cure, it is clearly important to develop additional therapies which help patients achieve a better state of well being today.
Medication Treatment Trials for Alzheimer's Disease
Clinical studies, developing potential new medication treatments for Alzheimer's disease, are necessary to establish safety and efficacy of a potential new medication. All of the trials conducted at the Neurological Associates of Albany are FDA conferenced and reviewed. When a trial is completed and the information is reviewed and evaluated, a determination is made as to whether or not the medication has sufficient efficacy and sufficient safety to be considered for approval by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and hence eventually availability by prescription.
Eventual Goals of Alzheimer's Disease Research
In the long run, neurologists and neuroscientists involved in the development of treatments for Alzheimer's disease hope to identify predictable and accurate biomarkers, which may identify patients destined to have this condition months or years before any symptoms develop. The goal at that point would be to provide the patient with medications and/or treatments, which would prevent the onset and development of Alzheimer's disease. While no such treatment is currently available, many therapies are currently being studied in research and many medications are in the process of being developed in preclinical stages, which will eventually make their way into clinical trials in our office.
Research into a better understanding of the process of Alzheimer's disease and research for the development of improved therapies for Alzheimer's disease is "exploding", not only in the United States but worldwide. Everyday new and exciting discoveries are being made and there is strong optimism for the future control and eventual eradication of Alzheimer's disease.
New developments in research include:
- Imaging techniques that allow researchers to see brain changes that may indicate Alzheimer's.
Advances in Brain Imaging (approx 13 min.)
- Markers in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (fluid that flows within the brain and spinal cord) that may signal Alzheimer's changes in the brain.
Quest for Biomarkers (approx 17 min.)
- Advances in genetics research to help identify individuals at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's.
The Role of Genetics in Alzheimer's (approx 14 min.)