ADNeT Screening and Trials

About  

The Australian Dementia Network screening and trials initiative seeks to accelerate development of effective therapies to prevent or treat dementia, by reducing the duration of clinical trials. It also aims to give more Australians access to the latest potential therapies via trial participation, by closely collaborating with international sponsors to encourage large trials to be brought to Australia. The Screening and Trials initiative will also help Australian academic researchers find participants to test their potential therapeutic discoveries and for longitudinal observational research to learn more about the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.   

The screening and trial referral network was established concurrently with the network’s clinical quality registry and clinics, both of which will also facilitate involvement in research and trials. 

How it will work 

Australian Dementia Network screening sites will recruit participants who will then undergo research assessment, before being referred to local trial delivery sites for enrolment in clinical trials. Ethics approval has been granted for screening sites in metropolitan Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Most sites are expected to be operational by mid-2020. Funding supports screening for 1000 participants. Additional commercial support is anticipated to double this capacity and fund the program into the future. 

In addition, a portal has been developed on this website where persons wanting to participate in trials can record parts of their medical history, their trial type preferences and their contact details. ADNeT will then look to match them to a suitable trial or to a screening site for more detailed assessment.

Background 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in our society and affects at least one fifth of our population by age 75.  Our society is also witnessing a rapid growth in Alzheimer’s disease prevalence as it ages. 

Slow build-up of two toxic proteins called amyloid and tau are believed to be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies have shown amyloid in all participants with Alzheimer’s disease, but have also observed that amyloid begins to deposit in the brain 15 to 20 years before other symptoms develop. It is also currently believed that amyloid may speed up the formation of the other toxic protein, called tau.  

The earlier that drugs designed to slow the build-up of amyloid or to clear it from the brain are given, the greater the chance of preventing this major cause of dementia. The Australian Dementia Network’s screening and trials initiative is developing the best brain scans and blood tests to identify people with brain amyloid so they can participate in early treatment trials aimed to slow the disease and prevent dementia. 

For more information please contact: Dr Jo Robertson – Australian Dementia Network Screening and Trials Coordinator jo.robertson@unimelb.edu.au