Bioscience

Banner, Sun Health institutes seeks patients for Alzheimer’s study

June 10, 2008

By Flinn Foundation

{source: Phoenix Business Journal} – Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Sun Health Research Institute are enrolling patients in a study of the investigational drug Dimebon for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study will evaluate the safety and effect of Dimebon taken in combination with Aricept, an FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatment. Results from a one-year study of Dimebon — showing significant improvements in memory, thinking, function and behavior — were highlighted at the recent 2008 Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium Annual Conference. Both Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Sun Health Research Institute are members of the group.

More than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells and affects areas of the brain involved in memory, cognition, judgment, language and behavior. Currently available therapies treat the symptoms with modest effect in most patients, according to researchers.

“We are encouraged by the results Dimebon has shown in clinical studies to date and believe it is imperative to fully assess its promise in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Pierre N. Tariot, director of the Memory Disorders Center at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, in a statement.

Patients 50 and older with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and taking Aricept for at least 60 days may be eligible to participate in the study.

For more: Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, 602-239-6900; Sun Health Research Institute, 623-875-6500; www.shri.org.