NILVAD – a clinical study for a new treatment in Alzheimer's disease

On January 1, 2012 the international European research project NILVAD (A European multicentre double-blind placebo-controlled phase III trial of nilvadipine in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease) started, coordinated by the Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The European Commission funds NILVAD for five years, with an amount of 6 million Euros. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an ever-increasing public health concern among the aging population and is the most common form of dementia affecting more than 15 million individuals worldwide and around 5 million Europeans. The direct and indirect costs of AD and other dementias amount to more than €440,000 million each year (www.alz.org, 2010).

There is therefore an imperative to develop new treatments for AD that have disease modifying effects. NILVAD performs a double-blind placebo controlled study that will test the efficacy and safety of nilvadipine in 500 subjects with mild to moderate AD over a treatment period of 18 months. Male and female patients with mild to moderate AD aged between 50 and 90 with a range of medical morbidities and frailty will be included in the study. If this trial is successful, nilvadipine would represent an advance in the treatment of AD patients and would have a major impact on the health and social care costs incurred in Europe by this neurodegenerative disorder.

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