Helene DeCoste of Boston is a patient in a ground breaking clinical trial, testing whether a drug called Solanezumab can slow down or even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. No drug has even come close before, but researchers have never tested patients quite like Helene in quite this way before.
“She is a perfect patient for this trial,” said Dr. Reisa Sperling, a physician at Harvard University and the project director of what’s called the A4 Study.
A4 is an ambitious, international trial in which 60 hospitals are looking for 1,000 patients like DeCoste. Dr. Sperling says they have to be patients who are not yet exhibiting signs of memory loss, but who also have brain scans suggesting they will get Alzheimer’s in the future.
Specifically they have a buildup of what’s called amyloid plaque, which doctors believe is what kills off brain cells. The hope in this trial is that the drug will destroy the amyloid before the amyloid destroys the brain.
Dr. Sperling says she’s excited, calling this trial “game changing.”
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