The Kensington Sierra Madre and the University of Southern California: Better Trials, Better Treatments for Alzheimer’s

The Kensington Sierra Madre partnered with the USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI) for an Ask the Expert Virtual Discussion. The discussion was “Better Trials and Better Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Our guests included leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease who shared their findings on new experimental Alzheimer’s treatments that offer promising results in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and slowing down memory loss.

The “Better Trials, Better Treatments for Alzheimer’s” discussion is a continuation of our educational presentations on Alzheimer’s disease to help prevent and slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s. 

Previously, we partnered with UCLA Alzheimer’s Center for Research, Diagnosis, and Treatment to learn more about scientific breakthroughs in curing Alzheimer’s disease. 

If you have a loved one who’s experiencing memory loss because of Alzheimer’s, but is unsure what Alzheimer’s is or what causes it, watch our presentation on the topic.

Better Trials, Better Treatments for Alzheimer’s Guest Speakers

Our guest speakers included Sandra Maas, an esteemed broadcast journalist, Dr. Michael Rafii, M.D., neurologist and Associate Professor of Clinic Neurology at USC, and Sarah Walter, program administrator for Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC) and ATRI at USC.

This interactive Zoom presentation gave an overview of Alzheimer’s disease and its history, ATRI, and innovative ways ATRI is accelerating the development of effective Alzheimer’s treatments through its A4 and AHEAD 3-45 clinical trials.

What is Alzheimer’s and How Does it Affect the Brain?

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain that causes the brain to atrophy and shrink. As it progresses, people will undergo memory loss, cognitive difficulties, and bodily difficulties, such as difficulty swallowing, balance, and loss of bladder control. 

Generally, Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be created by two difficult kinds of buildups of proteins in the brain — amyloids and tau. When amyloids build up they create plaque, when tau builds up they create tangles.

Amyloid Plaques 

Sticky deposits of plaque can build up in the brain caused by a protein called beta-amyloid. These pieces clump together in the brain and disrupt cell-to-cell signaling at the synapses, breaking down communication between the brain and body.

Neurofibrillary Tangles

Tau, another type of protein, can similarly build up within the brain to interfere with cellular function. These “tangles” destroy the cell’s transport system, blocking the brain’s ability to deliver nutrients through its cells, causing brain cells to die, atrophy, and shrink.

Two International Trials of Anti-Amyloid Immunotherapy

Currently, there are two international trials of anti-amyloid immunotherapy that have been launched in asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. 

Both trials are public-private partnerships funded by the National Institutes of Health and industry and are designed and led by the USC ATRI with many collaborators. 

The purpose of these trials is to see if amyloid build-ups can be slowed down or reversed to improve brain function before Alzheimer’s can progress.

A4 (Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s)

Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s, or A4 Study, is a clinical trial that lasts four and a half years sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceuticals. Its purpose is to test out a new treatment, using an anti-amyloid antibody, to see if it can slow down memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists are investigating whether or not amyloid buildups in the brain can be decreased using an anti-monomer monoclonal antibody.

AHEAD 3-45 

AHEAD 3-45 study’s purpose is to examine people aged 55-80 who do not have symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease but show elevated amyloid levels in their brain. 

These participants can be considered to have “preclinical Alzheimer’s disease,” caused by their elevated amyloid levels. While these patients don’t have Alzheimer’s, their elevated amyloid levels may turn into memory loss that’s beyond what’s considered normal for their age.

Sponsored by Eisai pharmaceuticals, AHEAD 3-45 launched in 2020. AHEAD 3-45 uses an amyloid-reducing antibody expected to normalize brain amyloid load.

Its main objective is to find a treatment that can target memory loss early so it can prevent Alzheimer’s from forming later in the participant’s lives.

Diagnostic and Research Tools

Biological markers, or biomarkers for short, are screening tests that measure certain amounts of aggregates or metabolites in a patients’ blood, bodily fluid, or tissue to diagnose and analyze the body’s condition.

Research scientists have been using blood tests to measure amyloids and tau accumulating in a patient’s body to detect if they have elevated levels that could potentially turn into Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have also been running more sensitive cognitive tests to examine whether or not their experimental Alzheimer’s treatments are slowing down or improving memory loss.

Offering Memory Care Support For Your Loved Ones at The Kensington

The Kensington Sierra Madre is an enhanced assisted living and memory care community located in beautiful Sierra Madre, California. 

Our enhanced program offers a full spectrum of clinical support, enabling us to provide care for your loved one with memory loss that’s beyond what many traditional assisted living communities can offer. 

Our community includes a dining service, an on-site fitness center, an on-site physician’s office during regular business hours, and a full-time registered nurse responsible for coordinating comprehensive nursing and medical care for each of our residents. We also have a staff of licensed nurses who can administer medication 24 hours a day.

Our campus features on-site rehabilitation services, and also includes two distinct memory care communities providing Alzheimer’s and dementia care for our residents. 

Our Connections community is specifically designed for residents with mild memory loss who are in the early-to-mid stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. This neighborhood has porches, a patio, and nice garden areas for residents to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

Our Haven community is for residents in the middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Residents living in Haven will receive a higher level of assistance and care. This community is specifically designed and color-coded to help with recognition, reduce fall risk, and offers more supervision to prevent residents from wandering.

At the Kensington Sierra Madre, we extended our Kensington Promise to love and take care of your family as we do our own.

If you have a loved one who’s experiencing memory loss from Alzheimer’s or dementia and is considering assisted living or memory care, please reach out to us today.

 

Further Reading:

To learn more about our exceptional assisted living and memory care at The Kensington Sierra Madre, click below or give us a call today for any questions. We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.

 

Additional Recommended Reading:

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