The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) is based at University College Hospital in London, and has the aim of finding ways to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s Disease in people at high risk, before physical / clinical signs of the disease become apparent.
The DIAN-TU Trial involves studying people with a rare genetic form of Alzheimer’s Disease which carries a 50-50 risk of a rare genetic mutation bringing early-onset development the disease (typically in the patients’ 30s or 40s).
The researchers will monitor changes in the brain and spinal fluid and check for decline in cognitive performance to detect subtle signs of early Alzheimer’s Disease, which can start perhaps up to a decade before physical symptoms emerge. They plan testing two immunotherapy drugs to determine whether these can stop or delay development of the disease.
The DIAN-TU study offers an opportunity to test other new experimental disease-modifying drugs early on, i.e. when they potentially may have the biggest impact on slowing or arresting disease progression.
Brimelow, A. (2015). First trial to stop Alzheimer’s before symptoms emerge. London: BBC Health News, October 22nd 2015.