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2008 Grants - Shea
A Phase II Clinical Trial of a Vitamin/Nutriceutical Formulation for Alzheimer's Disease
Thomas B. Shea, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
2008 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
A growing body of evidence suggests that proper diet can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease or slow the disease's progression. Many researchers are working to develop nutritional supplement programs that provide optimal anti-Alzheimer benefits.
Thomas B. Shea, Ph.D., and colleagues have devised a supplement program called nutriceutical formulation 1 (NF-1). This program includes such nutrients as folate and vitamins E and B12. In an earlier study, the program proved effective at blocking Alzheimer's disease in mice engineered to develop dementia. The researchers also tested NF-1 in a clinical trial with 18 participants who had early-stage Alzheimer's. Results showed that NF-1 could provide benefits similar to that of donepezil (Aricept), one of the leading Alzheimer drugs.
For this study, Dr. Shea's team plans to conduct a more extensive clinical trial analyzing the effects of NF-1. The researchers hope to recruit and assess about 300 participants with early-stage Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often precedes Alzheimer's. If successful, NF-1 could be used as a novel program to supplement existing Alzheimer therapies.