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Volume 6, Issue 76  | September 21, 2021

Hoag to participate in groundbreaking study to prevent memory loss due to Alzheimer’s

Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute has started recruiting volunteers for a study testing an investigational treatment that aims to help prevent the earliest stages of memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Eisai Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo), the AHEAD Study is the first Alzheimer’s disease research study to recruit people as young as 55 years old who are at risk of developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as they get older. It introduces a personalized approach that will tailor treatment dosing levels to a participant’s particular risk of memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease.

The AHEAD Study consists of two different clinical trials testing the same investigational treatment (known as BAN2401 (lecanemab)). Participants are enrolled in one of the two trials based on the level of amyloid in their brain. Amyloid is a protein that builds up in people who can go on to have memory problems and develop Alzheimer’s disease.

“The tailored approach of this study, starting treatment years before memory loss has begun, has the potential to be a breakthrough step in our aim to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” said William R. Shankle, M.S., M.D., F.A.C.P., program director of Memory & Cognitive Disorders at Hoag and The Judy and Richard Voltmer Chair in Memory and Cognitive Disorders at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute, who is serving as the principal investigator of the study at Hoag. “It can potentially serve as a model to improve future clinical trials in Alzheimer’s research and other diseases.”

The AHEAD Study will be conducted in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Europe. Hoag was selected to participate in the parallel, 216-week study in part because of its renowned Orange County Vital Brain Aging Program and its track record of successfully conducting complex clinical studies.

“Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute has pioneered a comprehensive program to maintain cognitive health as we age, and to combat the community’s fear of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, through the Orange County Vital Brain Program,” said Michael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., F.A.C.R., Hoag’s senior physician executive and the Ron & Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute. “As a result, we are able to offer our community unique opportunities to participate in studies like the AHEAD Study. This is well-aligned with the mission of our Institute, and we are very excited to be a part of this pioneering effort to help identify ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”

People may be eligible to enroll in the trial if they are between the ages of 55 and 80 and meet certain eligibility criteria. For more information on the study and the study participation, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Research reported in this press release was supported by the NIH’s National Institute on Aging under award numbers R01AG054029 and R01AG061848. The AHEAD Study (Clinical Trial number NCT04468659) received funding from NIH and from nongovernmental sources. The content is solely the responsibility of the researchers and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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