ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Scientists have launched an international study to see if an experimental drug can stop Alzheimer’s Disease in people who appear healthy but are genetically disposed to get the disease.
Dr. George Grossberg with St. Louis University says an abundance of test subjects took federal researchers to Columbia, in South America.
“Because there in Columbia, they have in one region five-thousand patients that carry that genetic mutation for early onset Alzheimer’s Disease,” Grossberg tells KMOX News. “We may not have that many in the whole state of Missouri.”
Grossberg says one local study set to begin this summer involves a similar drug but made by another company.
He says the drug works on the immune system to try to decrease the deposition of plaque in the brain and possibly ward off the disease.
Grossberg says they also have two active studies looking at intravenous immunoglobulin.
“Infusing kind of a mixture of antibodies into the blood in very, very early almost pre-Alzheimer’s stages as a way to use the immune system to fight off the plaques or the changes that are occuring in the brain,” Grossberg says.
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s, a number that’s expected to triple by the year 2050.