A Call to Help Stop Alzheimer’s

This image is no longer available


There are few things worse than watching a loved one slowly lose their memory to Alzheimer’s.  Now, if you live in the B.C lower mainland, or the Greater Toronto area, medical researchers devoting their time to advancing new medicines for Alzhiemer’s need your support from those living with and caring for a person with Alzheimer’s.

Everyone seems to know someone with Alzheimer’s.  In Canada, there are more than 750,000 people living with it.  That’s over 15% of Canadians over 65.  When you factor in caregivers and family members who have someone fighting this disease it touches millions of people.  That number is expected to double in 15 years.

Economically, its impact is unnerving.  The cost of treating Alzheimer’s either directly through the medical industry or indirectly through lost earnings is well in excess of 33 billion dollars.  If we continue the current course that number will balloon to 295 billion dollars by 2040.

Unfortunately there is no cure.  Until that is achieved, the goal is to keep people functioning productively as long as possible. Aricept® (donepezil), is the most widely used of these medications. Dr. Lawrence Friedhoff lead the clinical team that developed this important medicine that is currently prescribed for all stages of Alzheimer’s. It works by increasing acetylcholine, a chemical which transmits messages to the nervous system around the brain and body.

Today, Dr. Friedhoff’s work in Alzheimer’s continues. He is leading another clinical team aimed at developing another treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. A clinical study called MINDSET underway is required to evaluate this investigational mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s treatment known as RVT-101. MINDSET is a global Phase III clinical research study which means that RVT-101 has already undergone several prior clinical trials. These earlier clinical trials involved over 1,250 individuals, both healthy individuals and mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s subjects.

Like many other medical conditions, a combination of different medicines is now being used for Alzheimer’s. For MINDSET, medical researchers are evaluating the combination of RVT-101 in combination with donepezil (Aricept®). Given the different ways in which these drugs work, the study will carefully track patients’ cognition and their ability to perform daily living activities, compared with donepezil alone.

Dr. Friedhoff and his team are encouraging those living with mild Alzheimer’s and those caring for someone with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s to take part in the MINDSET study.  Having devoted his career to Alzheimer’s drug development, Friedhoff knows first hand that clinical research only progresses with the participation and support of caregivers and the Alzheimer’s community.

Without clinical research diseases triumph.  In Alzheimer’s major strides have been made – but there is still a long way to go.

The MINDSET study requires individuals to meet certain criteria to qualify.

People must be between the ages of 50 and 85, taking donezepil and experiencing problems with memory loss or have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  Also, you must be accompanied by a caregiver or loved one who is willing to attend study visits.

If you live in the Toronto or Greater Vancouver area you are already in travelling distance of the study centres. All you need to do is attend a screening visit to determine your eligibility for the study.  Then, come to the study centre for eight more visits over a 33 week period so the researchers can assess health and study drug effects.  You will also need to take donepezil throughout the course of the study and take RVT-101 or a placebo for up to 24 weeks.  During the course of the study your caregiver will be asked questions on how the study participant is feeling and functioning.  Lastly, you will need to participate in a yearlong follow-up while taking RVT-101.

In return the participant will receive study- related monitoring from study physicians and medical terms fully experienced in Alzheimer’s disease, all study related tests and exams and donepezil at no cost and the opportunity to receive the investigational drug.

If you are interested or are a loved one of someone who might qualify there is a pre-screening test available by clicking here or you can call 1-888-896-3621.

You can discover more about the MINDSET Program: click here.

Your input would be much appreciated.

ARICEPT® is a registered trademark used by Eisai Inc. under license from Eisai R&D Management Co., Ltd