Alzheimer’s Analysis UK, the UK’s major dementia analysis charity, has announced it will fund a pioneering clinical trial at King’s College London investigating a cannabis-primarily based therapy for individuals living with dementia.
Dementia, triggered by illnesses like Alzheimer’s, is not restricted to the loss of memory and pondering abilities and individuals with the situation can practical experience a wide variety of symptoms, like adjustments to their behaviour.
Roughly half of the 850,000 individuals living with dementia will practical experience symptoms of agitation or aggression. This can generally be one particular of the most difficult elements of the illness, each for the particular person with dementia and these caring for them.
Alzheimer’s Analysis UK is committing almost £300,000 for a landmark phase II clinical trial of Sativex®, a cannabis-primarily based medicine licenced in the UK for the therapy of muscle stiffness and tightness knowledgeable by individuals with many sclerosis. Nevertheless, Sativex® is not at the moment licensed in the UK for any other indication, like therapy of the symptoms of dementia. The Sativex® for the Therapy of AgitatioN in Dementia (STAND) trial will now test no matter whether it is feasible to treat agitation in individuals with Alzheimer’s illness with the drug.
In November 2018 the government moved cannabis-primarily based merchandise for medicinal use to Schedule 2 – enabling their prescription by specialist clinicians. Sativex®, having said that, is a Schedule four drug provided its regulatory approval by MHRA in 2010 and its established top quality, security and efficacy.
Sativex® is a peppermint-flavoured mouth spray that consists of a 1:1 ratio of two essential cannabinoids located in the cannabis plant – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The plants are grown beneath a Residence Workplace licence in the UK in hugely controlled and safe situations which, taken alongside higher-tech manufacturing processes, guarantees batch to batch consistency in every bottle.
Chris Albertyn, Analysis Portfolio Lead at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, created the proposal and will run the trial beneath the supervision of major Old Age Psychiatrist, Prof Dag Aarsland. The study group at King’s College London will recruit volunteers with Alzheimer’s illness involving 55 and 90 years old who are living in care residences and have symptoms of agitation or aggression. The STAND trial volunteers will take the medication for 4 weeks and researchers will examine the benefits from these taking Sativex® and these taking a dummy drug.
The effective completion of the STAND trial will inform scientists no matter whether they ought to go on to carry out a substantially bigger clinical trial of Sativex® in individuals with the illness.
Prof Dag Aarsland, the lead researcher on the STAND trial, stated:
“While individuals most generally associate Alzheimer’s illness with memory challenges, this is just one particular aspect of a complicated situation that can influence individuals in unique strategies. Lots of individuals with Alzheimer’s can come to be agitated or aggressive, and this can pose troubles for the particular person with the situation and these closest to them.
“Current remedies for behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia are extremely restricted, and we desperately have to have to create options. Medical doctors from time to time prescribe anti-psychotic drugs, and though these drugs can have vital advantages, these have to have to be weighed against the danger of extremely significant side effects.
“One of the essential concerns the STAND trial will answer is no matter whether it is sensible to give an individual with dementia a drug via a mouth spray when they may perhaps be exhibiting serious symptoms of agitation and aggression. We will also get some indication of no matter whether Sativex® is powerful at minimizing symptoms, though bigger research will be required to get firm proof of this.”
Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer of Alzheimer’s Analysis UK, the UK’s major dementia analysis charity stated:
“With no new dementia remedies in more than 15 years, it is important that we test a wide variety of approaches to locate powerful strategies to enable individuals living with the situation.
“While a key concentrate for dementia analysis is to create drugs that slow or quit the progression of the physical illnesses that lead to dementia, what actually matters is that a medicine advantages people’s day-to-day lives.
“The STAND trial opens the door to a therapy that may perhaps enable to alleviate an particularly difficult set of symptoms, and Alzheimer’s Analysis UK is particularly grateful to our supporters for producing this vital perform attainable.
“This is a rigorous clinical trial of a medication that has been cautiously ready, and which will be tested in situations exactly where the well being and wellbeing of participants can be closely monitored. There is no superior proof that working with cannabis in an uncontrolled setting could advantage individuals living with dementia, and we know that the drug can involve dangers like brief-term memory and pondering challenges, coordination troubles and anxiousness.”
Supply- Alzheimers UK