Forgetful needed for world-first clinical trial
Media Statement from Kim Hames
- 400 WA men needed for world-first clinical trial to prevent/delay Alzheimer’s
- Patients to trial testosterone and a component of fish-oil to combat the disease
- Study supported by $500,000 Liberal-National Government grant
Western Australia is at the forefront of research into treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with a new human trial on a unique treatment about to begin.
Health Minister Kim Hames said the study - which would require 400 men older than 60 - would investigate the effects of a combined treatment of testosterone and a fish-oil component on people who had memory problems, which indicated a risk of the disease.
“This study will receive $500,000 from the Liberal-National Government and be led by internationally-renowned, WA-based expert Prof Ralph Martins from the McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation and ECU and would help ensure WA continued to be a leader in medical research,” Dr Hames said.
“It is well-known the WA population is ageing so age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia will only become more prevalent.
“The State Government is ensuring treatment and care for patients with these conditions keeps up with demand by building new hospitals and opening more beds. However, it is just as critical that we continue supporting this type of research that may delay or prevent this disease.”
The Minister said anecdotal evidence already suggested that both testosterone and the fish-oil component were beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease but a clinical trial investigating both substances together had never been done.
“Prof Martins has already published a raft of journal articles on his research into Alzheimer’s disease, most recently on his research involving zebra fish,” he said.
“He is an example of the strong tradition of medical research we have in this State, which has resulted in many medical breakthroughs and Nobel Laureates.”
- Liberal-National Govt provided $16.97m for health/medical research in WA in 2011-12
- Research funding supported by practical improvements to research facilities, including $65m integration of TICHR at new children’s hospital, and Govt contribution of $25m to new $112m WAIMR facility
- Latest funding follows $2m Science and Innovation grant from Liberal-National Govt to McCusker Foundation in 2010 to search early markers of Alzheimer’s disease