Thousands want to join Alzheimer’s trial

ECU researcher Ralph Martins has been swamped with applications to join the trial. Picture courtesy Prof. Ralph Martins
ECU researcher Ralph Martins has been swamped with applications to join the trial. Picture courtesy Prof. Ralph Martins

Edith Cowan University researcher Ralph Martins, who was awarded a grant of $500,000 for the trial, will begin selecting applicants next month .

Professor Martins said the response to the trial had been overwhelming and people were still applying.

‘We are so grateful for the funding from State Government, it has given us the leverage for backing from other sources and we welcome continued support,’ he said.

The applicants are completing two questionnaires to see whether they fit the trial.

The second more intensive questionnaire will take the number of applicants to 600 and a brain scan to measure levels of beta amyloid will reduce it to 200.

Professor Martins will test the participants’ memory over 12 months to see if it stays the same or improves but the primary goal is to determine if the hormone and fish oil lower toxic amyloid in the brain.

‘This is a drug that, if successful, can be rolled out in the community very rapidly because testosterone and fish oil are highly accessible.

‘If successful, this trial could be the basis for providing information around the country and globally as to the role of these two agents in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.’

The first drug treatment is expected to start in about six months at the McCusker Alzheimer’s Foundation.