Columbus GA Plays Major Role in Alzheimer's Drug Research


Columbus, Georgia continues to be a world leader in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease with the announcement of a recent research breakthrough. According to Eisai and Biogen Pharmaceuticals, an initial phase study, BAN2401, attempting to slow or stop the transition from mild memory loss to Alzheimer’s disease has demonstrated success at 18 months. This is the first late-stage study to demonstrate potential disease-modifying effects on clinical function and accumulation of the protein that is thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease. Columbus enrolled the third highest number of people in the world in this groundbreaking trial. 

Last year, the Columbus Memory Center partnered with the City of Columbus and the Alzheimer’s Association to create the “Columbus Memory Project”. This project aims to bring brain function to the forefront of health care concerns so that all area seniors can track their brain health over time. This free self-administered test allows seniors to make year-to-year comparisons of their abilities, potentially leading them to access healthcare much earlier than what is typically seen today. 

Project Director Jonathan L. Liss, M.D., celebrates the City of Columbus’ involvement in this project. 
“The Memory Number is the first vital sign ever created for the brain and should allow seniors to detect changes in cognitive ability early enough to take advantage of medical breakthroughs such as the one recently announced by Eisai and Biogen,” Dr. Liss said. 

“We are thrilled Columbus, Georgia has been an integral part of advancing a treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who joined the project to help get the word out and encourage community participation in this seminal medical trial. “We encourage the senior members of our community to continue to help move the cause of a cure forward by contacting the Columbus Memory Center at 706-327-4000 and learning more about assessment and medical trial opportunities.” 

Columbus Memory Center offers a wide array of world class FDA approved clinical research trials for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, the delay in conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s disease, and the treatment of those already afflicted. 

Last year Dr. Liss noted in a press release that “With the help of the citizens of Columbus, the world will take a giant step towards defeating Alzheimer’s disease.” Today, Dr. Liss notes “that Columbus has made the first substantial down payment on that promise.” 

“It is now universally believed that the key to stopping Alzheimer’s disease is to intervene before it has started or as early as possible once it has begun. The Columbus Memory Project may be giving us the necessary framework to encourage older adults to run towards care instead of running away from a diagnosis,” said Dr. David Watson, Neuropsychologist and Director of Lake Worth Florida’s Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment Center. 

Alzheimer’s affects one out of every nine people above the age of 65. FDA-approved research trials are aimed at both preventing Alzheimer's disease in healthy people and dramatically slowing its progress in those who have begun to suffer. With many new drugs becoming potentially available in the next five years and more than 50 new drugs in the pipeline, according to Researchers Against Alzheimer’s (RA2), the future for Alzheimer’s patients and families is beginning to brighten. 
Area residents are invited to stop by the Columbus Memory Center any regular business day, without appointment, to obtain their free Memory Number and are encouraged to do so annually. 

Contact Information: 
Dr. Jonathan Liss, M.D. 706-327-4000 
Brennan Reh

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Reproduced from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Article

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