Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and University College London (UCL) have started a brain-imaging study to uncover a new approach in neurodegenerative disease.
The Pilot Longitudinal Study in Alzheimer’s Disease of Central Markers of Microglial Activation (PADMMA) combines brain imaging with key biomarkers to identify the role of inflammation in neurodegenerative disease.
The two-year study, which will be carried out in 20 patients, uses PET imaging to look at microglia cells in the central nervous system (CNS).
Under the study, the prevalence and pattern of CNS microglial activation will be assessed in individuals with prodromal AD with mild cognitive impairment or mild AD.
The study will be undertaken at UCL’s Dementia Research Centre and led by Catch Mummery, a consultant neurologist and clinical lead at the center’s Cognitive Disorders Clinic.
Imanova will carry out imaging, at the Centre for Imaging Sciences at Imperial College London.
Teva president of R&D and chief scientific officer Michael Hayden said: "The focus on microglial activation heralds a new therapeutic area of interest for most neurodegenerative diseases, potentially with very high impact on disease modification therapies.
"The PADMMA study has clear translational value. A greater understanding of the role of brain inflammation in early disease may lead to development of better biomarkers that could better inform therapeutic studies and potentially open the door to new therapeutic options."
Teva said neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington and Parkinson’s, destroy lives of people and their families.
Image: Neurodegenerative disease covers a range of conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the brain. Photo: courtesy of dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.