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Neurological Care of CNY is a test site for new Alzheimer drug

The new drug trial by Elan Pharmaceuticals is ICARA or Investigatational, Clinical, Amyloid, Research in Alzheimer s. It is also commonly known as the Bapi study, which is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a new drug, bapineuzamab ,which involves a new approach to dealing with Alzheimer s Disease (AD).

There is still no known cure, but this drug is aimed at slowing down the disease progression and will be used in tandem with the current Alzheimer drugs on the market Aricep (Exelon, Razadyne) and Namenda.

There are 200 trial sites around the United States and Canada with one in CNY. Dr. Smita Kittur of Nuerologial Care of Central New York in Syracuse has been selected to test 16 patients. There are already eight enrolled in the trial.

The new drug is an antibody to the amyloid protein, which when given by Intravenous infusion, will attach itself to the amyloid, Kittur said.

It is hoped that it will then remove the amyloid from the cell, and will also prevent the development of further amyloid proteins forming within that cell.

{Q} They found in mice that it removed the already deposited protein and helped to prevent the progression, {Q} she said.

Kittur said, when people talk about memory problems or dementia, 90 percent is AD. Non-AD-dementia could be caused by a problem with B12 absorption, stroke or an aneurysm.

"The patient interested in inclusion in this trial will be evaluated for Alzheimer s Disease by performing a memory or psychological test, Kittur said. And also, a blood test and MRI, which is mainly to rule out other diseases.

She said this drug differs greatly from Aricep, Exelon or Razadyne, which all work the same by helping to maximize brain activity. And, also the latest drug on the market, Namenda, is more for protection of the brain cells caused by calcium that grows inside the cells.

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