Find out about our current, on-going, neurology research trials

Neurology research trials

Memory trials

Alzheimers Disease Clinical Trials at the Imperial Memory Unit

Trial: Aducanumab in Mild Cognitive Impairment and mild Alzheimer’s Disease

Research area

Alzheimer’s Disease

Summary

Earlier this year, a new medication under development - Aducanumab made the news and was reported in the Guardian.

This clinical trial is looking at the effectiveness of Aducanumab in the treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s Disease and mild Alzheimer’s Disease.

The medication is known to remove amyloid protein from the brain, the build of which is known to be one of the hallmarks of, Alzheimer’s Disease.

This trial is designed to see if the promising results from initial, smaller studies can be replicated in this larger and longer study. The trial will assess whether the medication can demonstrate a slowing of disease progression.

We know that brain changes in Alzheimer’s Disease may predate symptoms of dementia by many years and acting early, when people have very mild memory symptoms, is key to effective treatment. 

People who have mild memory symptoms can undergo a screening process to identify those who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (known as prodromal Alzheimer’s Disease) and are suitable to enter the trial. 

Some of the tests in this process include specialist brain scans, called amyloid PET scans, that can detect changes of Alzheimer’s Disease before symptoms affect everyday activities.

The study will run for 18 months and involve having the trial treatment via a drip every month. Two out of three participants will be on the active treatment in the initial 18 month phase of the study. Following completion of trial, all participants will be given the option to take the active medication as part of an extension to the trial.

Who can take part?

The trial is open to those who have a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s Disease and also those who may have early symptoms and be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Contact

Phone: 020 3311 5228
Email: imperial.Memory.Research@nhs.net

Trial: Clinical trial of Crenezumab in Mild Cognitive Impairment and mild Alzheimer’s Disease

Research area

Alzheimer’s Disease

Summary

This clinical trial is looking at the effectiveness of a new medication called Crenezumab in the treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment and mild Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease is characterised by a build-up of a protein called amyloid in the brain.

Crenezumab helps to clear that amyloid in the brain, with the aim of slowing down progression of the condition.

We know that brain changes in Alzheimer’s Disease may predate symptoms of dementia by many years and acting early, when people have very mild memory symptoms, is key to effective treatment.

People who have mild memory symptoms can undergo a screening process to identify those who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (known as prodromal Alzheimer’s Disease) and are suitable to enter the trial.

Some of the tests in this process include special brain scans called amyloid PET scans that can detect changes of Alzheimer’s Disease before symptoms affect everyday activities.

The study lasts for two years initially and two out of three people will receive the active medication. One out of three people will be randomly allocated to receive a placebo (dummy medication).

Who can take part?

The trial is open to those who have a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s Disease and also those who may have early symptoms and be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Contact

Phone: 020 3311 5228
Email: imperial.Memory.Research@nhs.net

Trial: Generation study – a treatment trial aimed at prevention of Alzheimer’s disease

Research area

Alzheimer’s disease

Summary

As more is known about the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease, efforts to develop new treatments continue. Researchers are now turning their focus on disease prevention, by treating the underlying disease process before symptoms develop.

The aim of the Generation study is to capture healthy individuals, who are known to be at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease because of their genetic markers. A gene called ApoE4 is thought to increase the risk of developing the disease as we age.

This study plans to investigate the effectiveness of two different medicines which both act to reduce levels of amyloid; a brain protein which builds up years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease become apparent. Participants in this study have normal memory and cognition.

The medicines, one an intramuscular injection (CAD106) and the other a tablet (CNP520), act on the clearance and production of amyloid. Participants will be randomly allocated either one of these methods of delivery and will be assigned to either active medication or a placebo (dummy medicine).

The study involves visiting the clinic once every three months, with additional visits at the beginning of the study and when additional checks are required (eg an MRI scan).  The study will run for up to eight years per person.

Contact

Phone: 020 3311 5228
Email: imperial.Memory.Research@nhs.net

Trial: LMDD – Tau vaccine LY3303560 in patients with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease

Research area

Alzheimer’s disease

Summary

This study is looking at a new treatment for mild cognitive impairment and mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought that this medication may delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by acting on tau protein in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study will assess how well participants get on with this medication and monitor closely for any side effects.

The medication will be given via an infusion or by injection, at different doses dependent upon the stage of the study. Participants will be allocated randomly to either having the study medication or a placebo. Three in four will be on the active medication and one in four will be on a placebo.

Study procedures include specialist scans called amyloid PET and tau PET, which identify brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

After the initial screening phase, the study will involve monthly visits to the hospital and will run for a total of 12 months.

Contact

Phone: 020 3311 5228
Email: imperial.Memory.Research@nhs.net

 

Trial: Observational study of late life depression and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Research area

Depression

Summary

The diagnosis of late-life depression can be difficult - this is especially true when depression presents with poor memory and difficulty concentrating.

Mild memory problems that are symptoms of depression may remain static, or even improve if the depression is treated. However, depression can co-exist with dementia, complicating the picture further. It is important to be able to differentiate between memory problems due to depression and those resulting from dementia in order to ensure effective treatment.

At the Imperial Memory Unit we are currently carrying out a research study that aims to answer some of the outstanding questions in this area. We are looking at amyloid imaging in depression in later life using a PET scan which can detect the presence of amyloid, a protein in the brain which is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
This study is observational – it does not involve the testing of a new treatment or medication.

Who can take part?

As a rough guide, participants should:

  • Be aged between 65 and 89
  • Be recently diagnosed with either new-onset depression or with a recurrence of depression
  • Have mild or no memory problems
  • Be otherwise fit and well, with no major health issues

Contact

Phone: 020 3311 5228
Email: imperial.Memory.Research@nhs.net

Trial: Evaluating the influence of obesity on neuro-inflammation and Alzheimer's pathology

Research area

Alzheimer's disease 

Summary

Obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30, is associated with a significantly increased risk of dementia, ranging from 70 per cent to threefold.

While there is significant evidence to suggest that metabolic syndrome (visceral or abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, high blood sugar and high blood pressure) increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the exact mechanisms by which metabolic syndrome and, in particular, obesity affects Alzheimer’s disease remain uncertain.

We would like to evaluate the underlying mechanisms by which obesity leads to Alzheimer’s disease using PET imaging and MRI scanning.

This pilot study, leading to a much larger clinical and preclinical PET study, has the potential to answer the important question of how obesity and metabolic syndrome cause neuro-degeneration, and help us develop novel intervention strategies.

Who can take part?

People aged less than 40 years, with a BMI of 40 kg/m2 and undergoing bariatric surgery.

Contact

Email: MEMORY@IMPERIAL.AC.UK
Phone: 020 8383 3704/1969 

 

Trial: Evaluating the effects of liraglutide (a novel glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (ELAD study)

Research area

Alzheimer's disease 

Summary

This is a multicentre, phase II(b) study in patients with mild Alzheimer’s dementia, that runs for 12 months.

We aim to recruit patients with mild Alzheimer’s dementia or mild memory problems to test whether this diabetic drug (liraglutide) improves the memory of these patients. 
Patients will be randomised on a 1:1 ratio to receive liraglutide (1.8mg daily by subcutaneous injection) or identical matching placebo.

Liraglutide is marketed for use in patients with type 2 diabetes to reduce blood sugar by increasing insulin secretion, but its specific mechanism of action does not cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) in non-diabetic subjects.

Since type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s dementia, this study aims to investigate the influence of liraglutide on glucose metabolism and memory in the brains of patients with mild Alzheimer’s.

This will be studied using PET imaging, MRI scanning, and detailed memory testing at baseline and after 12 months.

The study is, randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled.

Who can take part?

People aged between 50 and 85, diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's disease or mild memory problems

Contact

Email: MEMORY@IMPERIAL.AC.UK
Phone: 020 8383 3704/1969

Trial: Auditory attention in the amnesia of Alzheimer’s disease, and the response to a central cholinesterase inhibitor

Research area

Alzheimer’s disease

Summary

Alzheimer's disease is typically associated with poor memory of recent information and events. However, even early in the course of the disease, other cognitive processes are affected including attention. Patients need more attention when there are other conversations taking place in the background; this requires the ability to focus on what one speaker is saying while not being distracted by other speakers. This is something patients even with mild Alzheimer’s disease find difficult.

We are currently carrying out a research study that uses imaging techniques (MRI) to study the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the function and anatomy of the attention system. 

We also study the patients again after they have received standard licensed drug therapy for their condition to determine whether the attention function has improved as the result of this treatment.

Contact

Dr Salwa Kamourieh, neurology SpR
Phone: 020 7594 7995
Email: SALWA.KAMOURIEH@IMPERIAL.AC.UK

Parkinson's disease trials 

Trial: Care of Late Stage Parkinsonism (CLaSP Study)

Research area

Parkinson's disease 

Summary

This aim of this study is to determine the needs of patients in the late stages of parkinsonism and their carers, how they are currently met in different European countries, and how their care could be improved. We suspect that there are number of unmet needs and that these can be addressed better. We will therefore assess the problems and needs of patients with late stage parkinsonism and their carers through examination and questions, and interrogate existing health care databases. We will also study the effect of a specialist assessment with treatment recommendations compared to those who receive their normal care.

Who can take part?

Patients and patient carers, with Parkinson’s disease or Parkinsonism for at least seven years.

Study location

Community based (i.e. home visits) or Hospital based, depending on patient condition.

Time commitment

18 months

Overnight stay required?

No

Contact

Email: gita.sharma@nhs.net
Phone: 0203 311 1714

General Enquiries, DeNDRoN
27 Old Gloucester Street, LONDON, WC1N 3AX, C/O Box 81.
Phone: +44 (0)20 3206 4960, +44 (0)20 3206 4960
Email: crndementias@nihr.ac.uk

Trial: Parkinson’s Families Project (PFP)

Research area

Parkinson's disease 

Summary

We are interested in understanding why Parkinson’s happens, and in developing new treatments. We know that in some people with Parkinson’s, genetic (inherited) factors are important, and this can help us to understand the disease. It is rare for many people in a family to be affected by Parkinson’s. The condition is passed from one generation to the next in less than 5% of cases. We hope that identifying inherited variants (in genes) that cause Parkinson’s in some people will help us to understand more about the condition. As families share a common genetic background, it is much easier to find new Parkinson’s genes by studying the genetic makeup of people with Parkinson’s alongside other members of their families. It is useful to be able to study other family members with and without Parkinson’s.

Who can take part?

It is useful to be able to study other family members with and without Parkinson’s.

Basic eligibility criteria:

  • Age 16 years or over
  • Either (1) Affected Parkinson’s disease / Parkinsonism (PD) and either age at onset <45 years; or first or second degree family member affected by PD
    Or (2) Relative of (1) affected or unaffected by PD

Study location

Charing Cross Hospital

Time commitment

Single visit

Overnight stay required?

No

Contact  

Email: lauramarie.payne@nhs.net
Phone: 020 3311 1714

 

Trial:  Genetic Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI-2)

Research area

Parkinson's disease and genetics

Summary

PPMI is a landmark observational study sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. It follows carriers of SNCA, GBA or LRRK2 genetic mutations who either have or do not have PD. 

The aim is to evaluate specific areas of interest in PD using imaging, biological samples, and clinical and cognitive assessments to work towards identifying biomarkers (a measureable characteristic that changes over time which correlates to the progression of the disease, e.g. white blood cell count). 

Genetic testing can be conducted for free in those with Ashkenazi Jewish or Basque backgrounds, or those with a strong family history to look for these mutations, with the option of going on to participate in the full study. 

Who can take part?

People both with as well as without Parkinson’s.

Basic eligibility criteria

  • M or F
  • With or without PD + a family history of PD OR from Ashkenazi Jewish or Basque background OR already known genetic mutation for PD
  • Aged 18+

Study location

Charing Cross Hospital

Time commitment

Dependent on study ‘arm’. For cohort arm, one long visit per year (equivalent of 1.5 days) and one short visit (approx. 3hrs), with telephone follow-ups in between. For Registry arm, one long visit every 2 years (approx. 4 hrs) and one telephone follow-up every 6 months.

Overnight stay required?

No

Contact

Laura Payne, study co-ordinator
Phone: 020 3311 1714
Email: imperial.PPMI.studyteam@nhs.net

Trial: Simvastatin as a neuroprotective treatment for moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD STAT)

Research area

Parkinson's disease 

Summary

The aim of this study is to assess whether simvastatin (a prescribed medication used to lower elevated levels of cholesterol) may be useful as a neuroprotective therapy for people with PD. This is the first in a series of PD clinical trials initiated by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust to assess the potential role of medicines already in use for other health problems for people with Parkinson’s. This may speed up the process by which new medicines can be found to treat PD.

Who can take part?

Parkinson’s Disease Patients

  • Age 40-90 years
  • On dopaminergic treatment with wearing-off phenomenon
  • Able to comply with study protocol and willing to attend necessary study visits

Please note that you cannot take part if:

  • you are already taking a statin drug or need to start statin treatment
  • you have taken a statin in the past
  • you are unable to take statins
  • it is possible that you may be pregnant or you are breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy

Study location

Charing Cross Hospital

Time commitment

2 years

Overnight stay required?

No

Contact

Email: gita.sharma@nhs.net
Phone: 020 3311 1714

Other trials

Trial: Towards independence: to research the use of upper limb movements to improve trunk motor control after spinal cord injury

Research area

Neurophysiology

Summary

A significant proportion of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) have difficulties controlling the muscles of their torso/trunk which results in problems with sitting upright and stabilizing the upper body. The detrimental effects of this include limitations in the use of the arms in a number of daily activities such as feeding, dressing, weight-shifting, transferring between wheelchairs and bed/toilet, and using wheelchairs.

We know that muscles of the trunk become active with almost any movement of the body and our research with healthy people has shown that movements of the arms can activate areas of the brain involved in controlling the trunk muscles. These movements can be as simple as bending the elbow, or lifting the arms up to the shoulder.

In this study we will explore whether this activation of the brain is observed in people with SCI and, if so, whether it is possible to improve the functioning of the trunk by using simple exercises of the arms.

Who can take part?

Patients who:

  • Are aged 18 years or over
  • Have a stable, incomplete cervical or mid-thoracic spinal cord injury and are able to voluntarily contract selected arm muscles (e.g. biceps)
  • Have some residual trunk muscle function

Study location

CHARING CROSS HOSPITAL

Time commitment

2-3 hours on up to 2 occasions

Overnight stay required

No

Contact

Email: P.STRUTTON@IMPERIAL.NHS.UK OR S.CHIOU12@IMPERIAL.AC.UK