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University Hospitals seek genetic-linked dementia patients for clinical trial

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - University Hospitals is recruiting volunteers to participate in a clinical trial to test a potential treatment for genetic-based dementia.

“There is hope out there,” Dr. Brian Appleby, who researches and treats dementia, said. “There’s always people that can help you.”

Dr. Appleby oversees research on Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), an unusual form of the disease that affects personality and behavior. The form of dementia is also seen in patients under the age of 65.

University Hospitals is seeking patients with the condition to participate in a study to test a drug that could help individuals recover progranulin, a protein that is greatly reduced by the disease.

The test “delivers a treatment that artificially raises the level of progranulin in the hope that it may help with the symptoms of the disease,” Dr. Appleby said.

Marianne Sanders, a research nurse who has run a dementia support for over a decade, hopes for raised awareness, as she’s seen the impact of the condition first-hand.

“We expect people to behave as normal, and these patients don’t because they can’t,” she said. “You have to watch someone you love slowly change.”

University Hospitals will be looking all across Northeast Ohio who know they have this specific form of dementia—but Dr. Appleby isn’t chalking up success to a positive experiment.

“Just getting more awareness of the disease,” he said, “that’s a plus.”

Click here learn more about the current clinical trial, and here to learn more about FTD.

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