The Alzheimer Center Amsterdam is allowed to start a new clinical study among people with a genetic mutation that leads to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Last week, the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO) has given permission for this research. Prof. Philip Scheltens, director of Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, and Jetske van der Schaar, carrier of this AD gene, are extremely happy with this news. They spoke about the groundbreaking news in the media.

Prof. Philip Scheltens, director of Alzheimer Center Amsterdam: “I am very happy that we can start with the study. This is a group of patients for whom no alternative is currently available, and therefore it is such an important step. Finding a solution for AD in the long term depends on this type of clinical research." Together with Jetske van der Schaar, who is carrier of the AD gene, Scheltens spoke at the national television programme Op1 about this news. Watch the broadcast here. Or see how Scheltens and Van der Schaar reacted to this news in a short video below.

The new Alzheimer Center research is part of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN), led by Washington University in St. Louis (MO). In this study, participants are followed with a dominant gene mutation that leads to AD. Or they are member of a family in which this gene is present resulting in a 50% chance of AD. Being carrier of the mutation leads to AD, with 100% certainty, at a relatively young age. Participants are followed to determine how the disease develops over time. After a while, they will also join an intervention study with medication directed against the Tau protein. Scheltens: “We strive to treat AD and hope to prevent the condition in the long term. The research is based on the idea that changes in the brain are well ahead of the AD symptoms."

Last year during World Alzheimer's Day, the documentary ‘Jetske's race – The road to the Alzheimer's pill?’ premiered. Van der Schaar knows that she will get AD symptoms when she is in her early fifties. During the making of this documentary, the start of the clinical study and a cure for AD seemed uncertain and far away. The positive decision of last week resulted in a very happy Van der Schaar: “We have waited so long for this. For the first time in history there is a possibility for people like me to participate in medical scientific research. That is the only way to find a medicine. I am deeply grateful that this gives me a chance for a future, no matter how small it may be. It gives me hope."

Source: Alzheimer Centrum Amsterdam