Alzheimer's Clinical Trial is now underway.
Progressive dementia (including Alzheimer's disease and related forms such as frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia) represents an enormous health problem in Australia and worldwide. Currently, no approved medical therapies can prevent the long-term clinical deterioration caused by these conditions.
Etanercept (ENBREL) has been approved by the US Federal Drug Administration for many years as a therapy to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. This drug has a well-characterised safety profile for these uses and is approved for such use in Australia.
Recently, an ENBREL injection into a region at the base of the neck was found in studies in the US to give marked and rapid improvements in the mental alertness and responses of dementia patients. These results have been reported in clinical and medical journals.
Mid-way Update - 29 September, 2014
The Griffith University Alzheimer’s trial, underway at the new clinic facilities at the university’s state-of-the-art Griffith Health Centre (Building G40) on the Gold Coast, is running smoothly with our researchers pleased with progress so far. Next month, we will be at the mid-way point with our first cohort of 20 patients having completed their involvement in the trial as the first half of the study.
We are still actively seeking and continuing to recruit patients for enrolment into the trial. All interested in participating are strongly encouraged to contact us and should consult the further information on the website located below about the enrolment process.
At this stage, as we are only half way, and this is a randomized and blinded study, we have little else to report, except that we should be progressing more quickly now that the trial is up and running steadily.
Participants and their family member who contact us with their enrolment application information completed and that are suitable for follow up will be invited to attend the clinic for a firsthand medical diagnosis by the trial investigating neurologist. This diagnostic check will be greatly aided if any previous medical histories or other information such as reports of radiologists (we do not need the actual scans) concerning the initial Alzheimer’s diagnosis of the patient are sent in with the application and brought along with you for screening.
Update - 4 April, 2014
We have been fortunate enough to access the brand new clinic facilities at Griffith University’s state-of-the-art Health Centre. As a result, we need to address a few minor details, which are being finalised now.
We anticipate the trial will be up and running smoothly within the next two weeks.
All participant submissions have now been processed. Participants who met the trial criteria will be contacted shortly, via their contact family member. Participants and their family contact member will be invited to attend the clinic for a firsthand medical diagnosis by the trial investigating neurologist. This diagnostic check will be greatly aided if you could also bring any previous medical histories or other information such as reports of radiologist’s scans (we do not need the actual scans) concerning the initial Alzheimer’s diagnosis of the patient.
The Alzheimer’s Trial Team
Update - 18 December, 2013
- GP information sheet
- Inclusion/exclusion criteria questionnaire (Alzheimer's Clinical Trial PSE-O1)
- 6 February 2014, Channel 7 News Report
The Griffith University Alzheimer’s Study has recently been granted full approval by the Human Research Ethics Committee as the first randomized double blind clinical trial to test the Etanercept therapy for dementia in Australian patients. We are sorry that it has taken some considerable time to get ready. However, we can report that the design of our trial has undergone repeated rounds of rigorous scrutiny and review and has been greatly improved by the review process that it has been subjected to over the intervening period.
Given that two years has meanwhile lapsed since many of those interested in this trial may have subscribed to the mailing list, the investigators would like to follow up to advise and update all those who remain interested. If you wish to be involved and to participate in this study, please pay careful attention to the requirements for the inclusion/exclusion criteria for patients and whether they are eligible to take part.
If you or the person for whom you are responsible for their healthcare meet these basic criteria, you should then consult your family doctor or GP to ensure all the necessary criteria are met as provided in the inclusion/exclusion criteria questionnaire (above).
Thus, the investigators request those who wish to pursue the study further, please first discuss the entry criteria with your family doctor or GP. After due consideration in this manner, if you or the patient for whom you have Enduring Power of Attorney for their health or are the registered caregiver with the Queensland Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) are eligible and meet the enrolment criteria, then arrange for the completed inclusion/exclusion criteria forms (from the trial website) to be delivered by email or mail to the following address:
For your convenience, you can also access useful information on Alzheimer’s with the following organisations:
National Dementia Helpline
Telephone 1800 100 500 (8:30am – 4:30pm, Weekdays)
Alzheimer’s Association Queensland
Telephone: 1800 639 331
The overwhelming response from the community has been most encouraging and we will endeavour to respond to your enquiries through our Your Questions Answered webpage as we unfortunately don’t have the capacity to respond to individual emails.
Thank you for your continuing patience and support.