The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has granted $5.5 million in funding to expand the first large-scale study that aims to identify drugs able to stop or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, which is being conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The National Institute on Aging from the NIH will support the trial, dubbed the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), with a total of $26 million over the next five years.
The DIAN-TU trial, which will be conducted in patients likely to develop the debilitating disease, will be particularly dedicated to study dominantly inherited forms of Alzheimer’s. Almost half of all late-onset patients suffering from Alzheimer's have some link to a particular form of the gene Apoe4. Even though having it doesn't mean suffering from the disease, the researchers believe that in dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s, a single copy of one of the critical mutations, which is determined by genetic screening, means a patient has a high probability of developing memory and other cognitive problems.
Therefore, the investigators created a detailed timeline of brain alterations even before the first symptoms of dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s, whic