Alzheimer’s drug miridesap being trialled by Fiona Phillips – what it is

Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'

Researchers based at University College Hospital, London, have been trialling whether miridesap could slow down or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ms Phillips, who is unknowingly taking a placebo or miridesap, told The Mirror: “Even if it isn’t helping me, these tests will be helping other people in the future.”

Professor Sir Mark Pepys developed miridesap, University College London (UCL) noted.

The drug targets SAP (Serum Amyloid P Component), which is increased in the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

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SAP “sticks to the amyloid plaques which in turn stops the plaques from breaking down”.

This directly damages brain cells, which may contribute to the development of the condition.

Right now, the recruitment for the DESPIAD trial, involving miridesap, is ongoing.

Participants must have a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s, with an “MMSE score of 18 or above”, and should be over the age of 50.

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UCL stated the purpose of the research is to “confirm the safety” of miridesap and to investigate “whether it can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease”.

Participants in the 14-month trial, like Fiona Phillips, will receive either the active medication or a placebo by injections.

The injections will be self-administered at home (or by a partner), three times daily.

Participants are also asked to attend the study centre where a number of assessments take place.

Assessments include physical and neurological examinations, ECG, blood and urine tests.

Moreover, the assessments will include interviews and questionnaires, memory and thinking tests, brain scans (MRI and PET), and lumbar punctures.

UCL is conducting five clinical trials focusing on Alzheimer’s disease alone.

The Alzheimer’s Society offers more information on events and fundraising for future research.

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