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FAU Seeks Volunteers to Participate in Medication Study for Individuals with Alzheimer’s

            BOCA RATON, FL (June 19, 2009)
– Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science is seeking volunteers to participate in a late-stage clinical trial, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, to determine the effects of semagacestat, a γ-Secretase Inhibitor, on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as compared with placebo. FAU is one of the sites chosen by Eli Lilly and Company to conduct this two-year, international study of the investigational medication. 

Researchers speculate that semagacestat may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by blocking the production of the amyloid protein that forms plaques in the brain and is believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s.  The plaques and/or another form of this amyloid protein may destroy nerve cells ultimately leading to dementia.  

“The current available treatments for Alzheimer’s disease do not address the development of amyloid plaques,” said Peter J. Holland, M.D., research professor and clinical assistant professor of biomedical science at FAU. “If these new medications prove to be safe and effective, it will truly represent a game-changing breakthrough in the treatment of this devastating disease.”

This new study, led locally by Holland, is currently seeking volunteers who are 55 years old or older with mild to mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  To participate, volunteers must have a caregiver or someone who spends at least 10 hours per week with them.  Eligible volunteers will receive confidential, comprehensive medical evaluations, laboratory tests, electrocardiograms and study medication at no cost. They also will receive reimbursement for travel.

Alzheimer’s is a common progressive and fatal brain disease that destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social hobbies.  More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.  Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 40-70 percent of dementia cases. Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are symptomatic only, and there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. 

For more information, contact Michelle Owens at 561-297-0164 or


Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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