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Elad Study - Evaluating the effects of the novel GLP-1 analogue, Liraglutide, in patients with Alzheimer’s disease

Principal Investigator: Prof. Clive Holmes
Study Coordinator: Annette Stevens

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is thought to affect 10% of individuals over 65 years, rising to over 40% in those aged over 85 years. There is currently no treatment that can prevent the disease and the only available treatments help with symptom control only. Given the urgent need for an effective treatment, we are carrying out a study to evaluate the effect of a drug that is already used for the treatment of diabetes, in AD. Diabetes has been identified as a risk factor for AD and it has been shown that regulation of insulin is abnormal in AD brains. This study has two groups, but neither the participant nor the investigator will know which group participants are in. One group will be given the study drug (liraglutide) and the other group will be given a placebo (dummy drug, containing exactly the same solution as in the study drug, but without the liraglutide). The drug is injected every day under the skin of the abdomen, thigh or upper arm. Participants have a 50% chance of receiving the study drug.

Using a special brain scanner called a PET/CT scanner, we aim to look at glucose utilisation in the brain using a radiotracer called [18F]FDG. The brain scan will be performed at the start of the study and again after 12 months treatment with either liraglutide or a placebo to see what effects the study medicine has on participants and how it affects the memory. We will also take a scan of the structure of the participant’s brain with a different scanner called an MRI scanner at the beginning and end of the study.

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