Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Investigational Clinical Amyloid Research in Alzheimer's

I recently learned about the ICARA Study. The letters stand for "Investigational Clinical Amyloid Research in Alzheimer's." Here is what I know about it:

Physicians in the United States and Canada are looking for volunteers to participate in the ICARA study, a clinical study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug (bapineuzumab) that may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

They are looking for men and women who:
· Are between 50 and 89 years of age,
· Have a diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and
· Have a caregiver who is willing to be involved in the study with them.

Study participants will join more than 2,050 volunteers at 200 study sites across the U.S. and Canada. The study will last up to 83 weeks and all study-related procedures and medication will be provided at no cost. There is no charge to participate in this study. During the study, each participant will be monitored by a medical team, including a physician.

Here is what I don't yet know about it:

Who is sponsoring it? Who is paying for it? Whether the investigators are being compensated by a company that stands to profit from the results. In other words, how scientifically "pure" is the research design and control over the ultimate report of the study findings?

I don't mean to cast suspicion on what may be an incredible opportunity to participate in a significant advance in our fight against one of the main health care scourges of our times: Alzheimer's disease. But I don't know what I don't know and recommend anyone interested in participating to do due diligence before signing up.

For more information about the trial, visit www.ICARAstudy.com or call 1-888-770-6366. Also Google "Investigational Clinical Amyloid Research in Alzheimer's" and surf around. Let's hope this study will yield important results for all of us.

Bob Tell
Author, "Dementia-Diary, A Caregiver's Journal"