Neurology at University of Miami Health System

New Drug May Slow the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Bernard Baumel is a neurologist and director of Memory Disorders Clinical Trials at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System. For more information on the T2 Protect AD study or to make an appointment, call 305-243-0184 or visit the University of Miami's health news blog 


Neurologists and researchers with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and UHealth, the University of Miami Health System, have opened a new clinical trial for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

“We need to identify more and better treatments for the millions of people already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Bernard Baumel, a neurologist and director of Memory Disorders Clinical Trials at UHealth. “The T2 Protect AD study is designed for that population.”

The T2 Protect AD study looks at the effectiveness of troriluzole, a prodrug of riluzole, which was approved by the FDA in 1995 and has been shown to slightly slow the progression of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. A prodrug is an inactive medication that changes into a drug after ingestion. 

Troriluzole helps protect against neuron loss by modulating glutamate, a neurotransmitter that in excess can negatively affect brain function. “People who have too much glutamate can get confused, they can get agitated, they become disorganized and unable to care for themselves,” says Dr. Baumel. “Brain function may improve if you block the excess glutamate.”

UHealth is one of 30 sites in the country participating in the T2 Protect AD study. To enroll, participants must be between age 50 and 85, diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and already being treated with Alzheimer’s medications for at least three months. A study partner must accompany the participant to study visits. 

Participating in clinical research often has value for families far beyond the care of the individual patient, says Dr. Baumel. “These conditions run in families. Even if they can’t help themselves, they want to be able to say that they did what they could to help the future generations in their family.”

Even if they do not qualify for the study, anyone who is concerned about the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease, for themselves or a loved one, can benefit from the expertise of the UHealth team. Dr. Baumel says, “People come to the University of Miami to be evaluated in a comprehensive manner. They come to see the physicians and researchers who are experts in their condition.” UHealth offers extensive screening to diagnose and place patients in the appropriate level of care for their Alzheimer’s disease.

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