July 10, 2014 – A4


Anchor lead: A4 is the acronym for a new clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Amyloid may be the smoking gun when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, accumulating in the brain as symptoms of the disease manifest.  Now a national clinical trial known as A4 is underway to test a drug called solenuzumab to remove amyloid in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the trial.

Lyketsos:  The results that we’ve seen have been using the drug in people who have dementia, these are people with pretty advanced brain damage.  It would be a little like taking someone with congestive heart failure, and removing cholesterol and hoping they get better. The analogy is reasonable, is that if you remove amyloid well before there’s brain damage, will people do better?  Even if in this setting we have a null result, the question will still remain is this the wrong drug? It could be that you need to use a different way to remove amyloid than what this particular drug does.  :31

Lyketsos says drugs like solenuzumab offer the best hope so far to intervene in Alzheimer’s disease.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.