In this segment, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia expert Dr. Danielle Goldfarb talks about clinical trials. Dr. Goldfarb is a neurologist and psychiatrist, as well as a physician researcher at Banner Sun Health Research Center in Sun Sun City, Arizona. Clinical trials are the cutting edge of new treatments and breakthroughs. In this segment Dr. Goldfarb talks about some of the promising latest news in clinical trials. Visit lift-ad.com for more about the LIFT-AD Phase 2 Study of an Investigational Drug for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Sponsored by Athira Pharma.
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The following podcast is provided by an approved senior care provider on the answers for elders radio network. And welcome back to the answer for elder’s podcast network, with a theory of farmer sponsoring a very special segment on clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease. And what clinical trials do is they are at the cutting edge everyone of how you know of new treatments, new breakthroughs, new discoveries, all of those things. So if you have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease, whether it’s in the beginning stages or middle stages or later stagers, there may be a study available to you and for you. And we are talking with one of the top doctors and product top experts in this topic and Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr Daniel Gold far from banner health in Sun City, Arizona. Dr Goldfar, welcome back. Thank you, thanks for having me back. You know, Dr Goldfar, Alzheimer’s disagree disease is a devastating disease for patients and caregivers and and I say caregivers because you, like you said in our last segment, it really affects the entire family and it’s been you know. I know people say, well, there’s no cure for you know, but there have been discoveries and there have been breakthroughs and but we don’t often hear about them. And can you tell me a little bit about the changing Alzheimer’s field? What’s some of the things that are happening out there? Yeah, so it’s very exciting and I’m always talking to everyone I see about all the things going on. So what’s I think the big breakthrough was about fifteen years ago this brain scan, the amloid pet scan, was developed to detect this ammloid plaque in the brain, which is one of the culprits and Alzheimer’s disease. And so what that did was helped us to really identify who has Alzheimer’s, what people who have dementia, which of them have Alzheimer’s and which don’t, and then we could get right people into the right trials right because before that we were misdiagnosing this and, you know, a third of the people so and that has led to many other breakthroughs and finding the biologic markers of this disease, and so then we can target those and monitor those with treatment. So you may have heard in news there’s been lots of promising things happening with clinical trials and different company you seeking FDA approval, and so I’m excited to talk to you about some of those specific things. Absolutely, absolutely, and you know, it’s interesting because the statistics I know in the state of Washington, I was reading in your state, you know, the state of Arizona. What what is the statistics on Alzheimer’s Disease Right now? So in Lat two thousand and twenty one, there were a hundred and fiftyzero individuals with Alzheimer’s living with Alzheimer’s disease, over two hundred sixtyzero caregivers. MMM, and I’m say probably right. Exactly. Yeah, just huge costs. It’s just and it’s just growing, of course. Yeah, and that’s the thing that’s just amazing. I know in Washington state our statistics are almost the same. So obviously it’s a it’s an overwhelming scenario and I know so many families that they reach a point where, you know they want to be there for their loved one and they need to be there, but you get to a point where you know you read these heartbroken sometimes individuals that have said you know, this is my husband. Just the other day I saw a facebook post for someone. This is my last night with my husband and he has no idea that he’s going to memory care tomorrow because I just can’t take care of him anymore and it breaks my heart to see the pain families are going through. And obviously, you know, we all think, you know, how do we find them? And we talked a little bit in our previous segment about what are the you know, what are the signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia, different things like that. But as far as the neurogenerative disease side, how do you determine? Besides that, I know that the Synaptis are the synaptics between thought and processing. Is What goes sideways? Is that really what it is? I think one of the big things we’ve learned about Alzheimer’s disease is that there are a lot of contributors to them, underlying Patho physiology, if you will. So there’s synaptic dysfunction, there’s breakdown of the neurons, there are these proteins that build up and it and it’s all kind of working together, and so we’re trying to sort out, you know, what happens at what time period or the trajectory. So it so, it’s so, it’s quite complex, for sure. Yeah, yeah, I can only imagine because obviously in the in the world that we live in, you know, with with finding the breakthrough. So when when you find and start this trial? Right now you have a new trial that is targeting those with Alzheimer’s disease specifically. What? What? What’s the ideal person for this trial? You know who’s that person? So so for this trial, for the ether aten seventeen trial. So this is a great trial in that we are looking for people who have mild to moderate stage of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and this medication is going to be there’s a you know, all of our studies are plissy well controlled, right, so that’s the only way we can really know if he’s are working. But what’s great about this trial to is that two out of three chance of getting active medication. And with these, with this trial also, you need a care partner, so a study partner, to join in and we do a number of different tests to just make sure that individual is sort of the right fit. That’s generally the criteria for this study. So I like to think about it like what. It’s just like we need in the world right now. It’s building connections, it’s building brain connections, right, and that’s that’s a new, novel approach, as we call it, different than a lot of the studies that have been underway, such as with you may have heard of these anti amyloid medications, which you know our yeah, so this one has been shown in our earlier studies to be looking like it’s going to improve clinical symptoms of essentially thinking quicker. So so that that is what we want to find out. Is it really going to be effective for that? And so we need this larger trial, like it’s underway now, right, right, and then in learning that, you know that with the larger trial, obviously, what do you hope to gain through the trial? So this is going to give us more information about the safety of the medication. So while we have, of course, phase one in earlier studies showing it safe, this is going to give this a larger group and also looking at these clinical outcome so specifically, so with cognition and function and motter. So those are those are really that’s what’s meaningful right to the patient and of course, to the caregiver if we can get a if we can improve those things right, right, and then obviously for the caregiver, how does that affect? What is their role in this? So with with all of our trials, it’s you know, the the caregiver or the study partner has to be someone who is very familiar with them. Usually it’s about ten hours per week. They can say they’re at least with them and most of the care parts. An average family caregiver that sometimes twenty years per it. Yeah, and so they’re going to the care partner is going to attend many of the visits and be able to speak to how the person is doing. And that also and really exciting with this study because it’s an injection. The treatment, a daily injection. The Care Partner can act, the study partner can actually give that at home instead of having come into the site everything this or something. So that just makes it so much more real world. Absolutely, of course, when you have so many you know, we all know we have a lot of things going on and especially with you know, may have a lot of doctors appointment and all sorts of things. So this just makes things a little easier, sure, and then as you obviously work. How long did this study last? Usually, so the treatment portion is twenty six weeks, so you know, six months. And then after that there’s an option to go into what we call open label extension, where everyone will have the active medication, and so even those that were on placebo, everyone will get the active medication. Got It. GOT IT and how? In what areas in the of the US are you primarily focusing on to find patients to participate? So for up, I know there are fifty five sites. So my site I’m in Arizona and Sun Huh Right, and so all over. That’s awesome. So obviously to reach out, you know, go to the website everyone and and you can see, you know, where you can potentially inquire about the trial. And obviously you’ve had some great breakthroughs to get to this point. What are some of the discoveries you’ve had so far? It just in general, MMM, in the in the Alzheimer’s world? Well, I think so. I think one of the big things is that we know that the changes are building up in the brain for twenty years before there’s any symptoms, my goodness sakes right. So basically, what’s you know? So this is a crucial period where we hopefully will prevent the onset of symptoms right if we can identify it early. And so we’ve also identified blood based markers of Alzheimer’s disease. Wow, right. So if you put that all together, where we’re headed is, and probably pretty soon, is that your primary care doctor will start screening you for Alzheimer’s disease changes at even maybe age fifty. Wow, that’s amazing. That’s amazing, and so for everyone if you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Goldfar, I am so honored that you’ve been with us today to kind of share a little bit about why to participate in a study. And this isn’t one. That is a really interesting study that you may qualify for. But you know what, there’s other ones out there. Just go to the website, find out the doctors who are participating in clinical trials and see what one might be the right one for you. And in the meantime, the website everyone is www dot liftlift and that’s a lift L if, like Frank Tea, like Tom Ad, and that’s like apple davidcom. So lift adcom. If you go to the website you’ll learn all about the study and how you could potentially get involved and Dr go part. Thank you so much for being with us this half hour. I really enjoyed our time to thank you for having me. We at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guys. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find us at answers for elders. Docom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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