Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

New Alzheimer's Study Hopes to Stop the Disease Before It Starts

stop Alzheimer's before it starts

According to a recent article that appeared on, Alzheimer's researchers are beginning to focus on prevention when it comes to Alzheimer's disease. $100 million has been allotted to test the experimental drug Crenezumab, in a clinical trial of several hundred people near Medellin, Columbia. What's most interesting about this study is that the people participating are all members of one extended family that are born with the genetic flaw that makes it almost certain that many of these individuals will develop Alzheimer's disease before age 50.

The patients participating in this unique trial have all agreed to take injections of Crenezumab, the leading experimental Alzheimer's drug that targets the buildup of amyloid protein in the brain, which many scientists believe is the root cause of the disease. If the shots are effective, the family members will not experience the buildup of this harmful protein, and they will not develop Alzheimer's.

"We believe that it is time to launch a new era in Alzheimer's prevention research," said Dr. Eric Reiman, the lead clinical researcher for the trial. "Most but not all researchers believe that the accumulation of amyloid plays a critical role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, and if that's right, and if we start early enough, we may have a way to stop the disease in its tracks before people develop symptoms."

Another possible outcome, however, would be if researchers learn that accumulation of amyloid protein is not the cause of Alzheimer's but rather another factor that could be overlooked.

"If the study fails, it would compel the research community to start searching for, to target other elements of the disease, so that we can find a way to prevent it as soon as possible," Reiman said.

Currently, more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and that number is expected to triple over the next 40 years as the population ages. In the United States, the yearly tab for caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease is currently $200 billion. That number is expected to reach $1 trillion.

Dr. David Tal encourages anyone with a family member who is experiencing symptoms of dementia to contact the Age Matters clinic for a geriatric assessment in order to determine whether the symptoms are indicative of Alzheimer's disease. Fill out the contact form on our Web site or call 647.268.0620.