Researchers in Leeds will be at the forefront of a groundbreaking drug trial for dementia patients in a bid to slow the speed of the condition.
Recruitment for the RADAR study is now open at 23 sites across the UK, including in Leeds, where five people from the city are already confirmed as taking part.
The trial is investigating whether a drug which is normally used to treat high blood pressure has extra properties that could slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
While a handful of people in Leeds are signed up, organisers are searching for more who are willing to participate.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting an estimated 850,000 people in the UK.
Dr Wendy Neil, who is leading the research locally at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, warned that more and more resources will need to be spent by the NHS on the condition until better treatments are found.
She said: “We are delighted to be a part of this important dementia-related research study and we are keen to hear from any local people who would be interested in taking part in the trial.
“With an ageing population, and as we are still in search of longer acting and effective treatments, the provision for Alzheimer’s disease care will continue to increase, which will greatly impact on NHS healthcare costs and resources.”
RADAR, short for Reducing Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease Through Angiotensin Targeting, is focusing on the drug Losartan and runs until February 2018. The drug first became available in 1995, and researchers hope it will complement current treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.
They believe it could slow down progression of the condition by improving blood flow to the brain.
The study will see participants receive either Losartan, or a placebo, daily for 12 months.