USC’s new Alzheimer’s study featured in TV report

If it’s confirmed that a drug can remove memory-stealing plaques from the brain before the damage from Alzheimer’s disease is already done, “we may really change the course of disease in a big way,” Keck School of Medicine researcher Paul S. Aisen, MD, told KCBS-TV of Los Angeles in a recent interview.

USC’s Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI) is recruiting participants for a large study to test a drug called BAN2401. Delivered intravenously, the drug is designed to target the plaques that build up in some people’s brains. Those plaques, called beta amyloids, are believed to be triggers for Alzheimer’s.

ATRI, based in San Diego, is leading the four-year study with funding from the National Institute on Aging and Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Inc.

Aisen, ATRI’s director, told KCBS that the drug will be administered to patients “at a very early stage, before symptoms start, in the hope of preventing the onset of symptoms or slowing down the process of the disease.”

The patients Aisen and his team are seeking may not show any symptoms yet, but “they have the biology of Alzheimer’s. … We are hopeful that this treatment can make a big difference. If we can remove the plaque before symptoms start, we may really change the course of disease in a big way.”

Watch the whole segment:

And read the original story on USC News: