ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 5 million Americans—including 500,000 Floridians—are currently suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and scientists expect this number to nearly triple by 2050. And, experts say that minority communities, including African Americans and Hispanics are more likely than white Americans to develop the disease.
A groundbreaking study, being conducted by local researchers at Compass Research in Orlando and The Villages, is testing whether an investigational drug can prevent or slow the development of Alzheimer's. Researchers seek volunteers who have just the earliest changes in their brain associated with the disease, but don't yet have any symptoms. The A4 study is a landmark public-private partnership, funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIH), Eli Lilly and Company, and several other philanthropic organizations. The study is coordinated by the Alzheimer's disease Cooperative Study, located at the University of California, San Diego and is led by world-renowned neurologist Reisa Sperling, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The A4 Study (which stands for the Anti-Amyloid in Asymptomatic Alzheimer's study) seeks to delay Alzheimer's-related brain damage and curb memory loss before any outward signs develop. Healthy people with normal memories are needed to join the clinical trial aiming to prevent memory loss associated with the disease.
"It is extremely important that members of our community get involved with this study," said Dr. Craig Curtis, Chief Medical Officer of Compass Research. "For the first time, the A4 Study offers new hope—a chance for people to fight back, giving them something they can actively do to protect their own and their family's memories."
This landmark study takes a new approach to Alzheimer's research by testing for an elevated level of a protein known as 'amyloid' in the brain. Scientists believe that elevated amyloid may play an important role in the eventual development of memory loss and Alzheimer's.
Researchers say that the goal of the A4 Study is to test whether an investigational drug that targets amyloid plaques can help to slow the progression of memory loss associated with Alzheimer's. Another major emphasis of the study is to help determine why certain populations, including African Americans and Hispanics, are more likely than others to develop the disease.
The A4 Study requires 1,000 healthy participants between the ages of 65 and 85 who may be at risk for Alzheimer's disease-related memory loss, but who have no outward signs of the disease, to enroll in study sites across the United States. Researchers estimate that 10,000 people will need to be screened to find 1,000 individuals who qualify.
About Compass Research
Compass Research is a multi-therapeutic, clinical research company headquartered in Orlando, Fla., with additional research centers in The Villages (Lady Lake), Fla. Utilizing both outpatient and inpatient facilities, Compass conducts all phases of research (phases 0-4) and has grown in size and industry presence to become one of the premier research sites in the world, particularly in the fields of Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative research. Compass has worked with over 200 industry sponsors, from small biotech companies to the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, and has completed over 1,300 clinical trials. With its experienced team of board-certified physicians and professional clinical research coordinators, Compass is renowned for its patient care and its work in advancing medicine. For more information, please visit www.CompassResearch.com.
SOURCE Compass Research