Male Volunteers Required For New Alzheimer’s Trial

Professor Ralph Martins and his research team from the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (AARF) are currently conducting a major study and require Male Volunteers for an Alzheimer’s Trial in Perth or Sydney.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s. In fact, the only available drugs treat the symptoms of the disease rather than the brain changes themselves. This is a startling consideration given that Alzheimer’s accounts for up to 70% of dementia cases and dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. The disease also places an immense strain on health services and families as sufferers become less and less capable of independent living over time.

Further, a global ageing population means that these impacts will only get worse unless research strides are made. Experts believe that prevention is the best intervention given that current knowledge suggests that the brain changes are irreversible.

Last year, the AARF together with researchers from Edith Cowan University commenced the largest clinical trial to date to investigate the influence of testosterone on a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease risk called amyloid beta. The dominant theory of the disease’s cause is that amyloid beta, a sticky protein, accumulates irregularly in the brain of patients and clumps together to form plaques. These plaques disrupt the communication between brain cells and trigger inflammation, ultimately causing the cells to die. This process continues while memory and other brain functions gradually deteriorate over time until the loss of basic functions or disease-related complications lead to death.

The trial, called the TotAL Study (Testosterone and Omega Three – Amyloid Lowering), is currently seeking volunteers. Specifically participants must be:

  • Men aged between 60-80, and concerned about their memory
  • Free from any major or unstable medical conditions, and not be currently taking testosterone treatment
  • Available over an 18 month period
  • Happy to complete a screening process to determine eligibility

Other criteria will follow assessments at the AARF’s Nedlands research centre. Most crucial of these is the individual’s current testosterone level – which is required to be on the low side of normal.

Finding participants within the required range for testosterone presents a challenge. A blood sample will be collected for this purpose for all interested participants, but if you have had a previous test and know (or suspect) that your testosterone is on the low side of normal, the Foundation would especially love to hear from you.

Participation requires initial screening to identify volunteers who are safe and suitable to take part. This is first done by a phone questionnaire, followed by two clinic visits to discuss the trial and your medical history with a study doctor, blood tests, and memory assessments. If eligible, you will be asked to undergo more memory testing, brain scans, and other assessments before and after being treated with testosterone and fish oil (or a placebo version of one or both) for a 56 week period. All study procedures are conducted in Nedlands and participation is expected to last approximately 18 months.

If you would like to take part or would like further information, please contact the study team on (08) 6304 3966 / (Perth) or 0493 152 142 / (Sydney).

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