Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Alzheimer's Disease Trial at UK First of its Kind Worldwide

elderly couple 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (12/8/13) – A new clinical trial being conducted at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the UK Alzheimer’s Disease Center may signal new hope in the future for those who might be afflicted with the devastating disease. Taking laboratory research pioneered at SBCoA and the associated UK ADC into human trials, the federally-funded research project will examine the therapeutic potential of microRNAs to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
 
Led by physician-scientist Dr. Gregory Jicha, and building off of the work of fellow SBCoA physician-scientist Dr. Peter Nelson, the project, formally titled “Modulation of micro-RNA pathways by gemfibrozil in pre-dementia Alzheimer disease,” will operate with a total budget of $1.5 million over three years. Funding was awarded by the National Institute on Aging as the result of a competitive process.
 
In 2006, the Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of microRNA biology. MicroRNAs are now understood by scientists to be implicated in health and disease states for hundreds of conditions. However, despite advances in microRNA technology, to date no group in the world has been able to apply microRNA discoveries in human clinical trials to affect neurodegenerative disease states.
 
“We are currently funded by the NIA/NIH and approved to take Dr. Pete Nelson's microRNA discoveries into the first-ever human clinical trial of microRNA modulation to influence a disease state. This trial is just starting, but it is not a hope or future expectation, it is real today,” said Jicha. “The microRNA project at the University of Kentucky is the first trial in the history of mankind to test the therapeutic potential of microRNAs in modulating neurodegenerative disease states. If our discovery is successful it will open the door for untold therapeutic developments for the diseases that plague us all as we age.”
 
As background, Jicha explained that, “Many have heard the speculation that more than 90 percent of our DNA is ‘junk’. The truth is that if we had ‘junk’, it would have been weeded out evolutionarily.”
 
In reality, at least some of this DNA codes for small fragments of RNA that regulate gene expression in health and disease states. These small RNA fragments are called microRNA. In previous work, Nelson of SBCoA has been able to show that one such microRNA is reduced in the brain very early as Alzheimer’s disease pathology begins.
 
“Nelson’s evidence suggests that if we can increase the levels of this microRNA, we may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, or even stop it when it is in its earliest stages,” said Jicha.

Fortunately, a FDA-approved drug that can increase miRNA-107 levels already exists, and is currently approved for treating high cholesterol. In cell culture experiments this drug, called gemfibrozil, can prevent Alzheimer’s disease-associated changes.
 
Gemfibrozil is one of a class of drugs called fibrates, currently used worldwide to treat high cholesterol. Previous studies of people taking fibrates have consistently demonstrated an approximately 50 percent reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
 
“In U.S. terms,” said Jicha, “that could potentially cut the burden of Alzheimer’s from 5.4 million cases to 2.7 million nationwide.”
 
“This innovative clinical trial is a great example of the ‘bench to bedside’ focus of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging – taking a research discovery made in the laboratory and translating that knowledge into a human clinical study. This pioneering clinical study testing the therapeutic potential of microRNAs to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease clearly shows how Pete Nelson and Greg Jicha, and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, are leading the world in testing promising new approaches to Alzheimer’s therapy,” said Linda Van Eldik, director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.
 
Watch Dr. Jicha discuss the importance of clinical trials to Alzheimer's research below:

SurfKY News
Information provided by Allison Elliott-Shannon

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14

SurfKY TV

2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Stock Report

1 DOW 16,461.32
-153.49 (-0.92%)    
2 S&P 1,927.11
-14.17 (-0.73%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,382.85
-36.63 (-0.83%)    
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

October 17, 2014 12164

UK Women's Soccer Welcomes Ole Miss, No. 5/4…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
October 20, 2014 5904

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 17, 2014 4052

Single Vehicle Collision Results in One Injury

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S. C. Recke
October 19, 2014 3932

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 16, 2014 3237

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 3177

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 18, 2014 2884

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 17, 2014 2814

Woman Arrested at Taco Bell for DUI

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 17, 2014 2810

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 17, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2715

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 21, 2014 3177

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 20, 2014 2091

Hopkins County Board of Education Recognizes…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
October 21, 2014 2079

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 1979

Man Charged for Switching Plates on Vehicle;…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 22, 2014 1817

Failure to Signal Ends in Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 1753

Providence Police Reports Released

in Local (Webster) Top News by Chief Brent McDowell
October 21, 2014 1710

Arrival of Overpass Beams for I-69/Pennyrile Pkwy…

in General News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd
October 21, 2014 1565

Alliance for a Drug-Free Owensboro-Daviess County…

in Owensboro News by Carla Shelton
October 21, 2014 1423

Meade County Set to Host Third Region Boys'…

in General Sports For All Sites by Steve LeMaster
October 21, 2014 1287

RWRA Sewer Repairs Starting Tomorrow

in Owensboro News by Abby Shelton

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss