Georgetown Offers New Treatment Study for Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted in News Release

WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2014) – The Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center is seeking volunteers to participate in a new treatment study for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study, called “NOBLE,” evaluates the potential benefits of adding an investigational drug, T-817MA, to donepezil (Aricept®).

“The question we’re trying to answer with this study is: Will adding T-817MA to donepezil slow cognitive decline?” explains neurologist R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD, director of Georgetown’s Memory Disorders Program, and the lead investigator for the trial at Georgetown.

T-817MA is a neuroprotectant, a drug designed to protect against neuron loss. “Neuroprotectants are used for many central nervous system disorders including stroke and Parkinson’s disease,” Turner explains.

There is no cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. Worldwide, about 35.6 million individuals have the disease and, according to the World Health Organization, the number will double every 20 years to 115.4 million people with Alzheimer’s by 2050.

For the NOBLE study, researchers nationwide aim to enroll 450 people with mild-to-moderate AD. Eligible candidates include women and men aged 55 to 85 years old with mild-to-moderate AD who have been taking donepezil (Aricept) for at least six months prior to enrollment. Study participants will be randomly assigned to receive either the study drug or placebo. Neither patients nor health care providers will know which is being administered until the end of the study. Total participation time is about 14 months. Potential volunteers should live with or be in regular contact with a caregiver who can assist with their participation and accompany them to study visits. Georgetown study participants must speak English.

In addition to NOBLE, Georgetown is also offering A4, a study aimed at preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease in people who don’t have symptoms but already have the tell-tale signs in their brains.

“We offer multiple clinical studies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s at Georgetown and we’re also focused on strategies for preventing the disease,” Turner explains.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s research underway at Georgetown, contact Kelly Behan at the Georgetown Memory Disorders Program by calling 202-687-0413 or emailing her. Information is also available at and at

NOBLE study is sponsored by Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., FUJIFILM Group, makers of T-817MA, and is being conducted by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. Turner reports no personal financial interests related to the study.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.