A clinical trial to test amlodipine as a new treatment for vascular dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Peter Passmore
Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Grant type: Society-initiated research
Duration: 4 years
Amount: 2.25 million split 50:50 with the British Heart Foundation (with thanks to Tesco for funding Alzheimer's Society's part of the project)

Scientific Title: A randomized controlled trial of calcium channel blockade (CCB) with amlodipine for the treatment of subcortical ischaemic vascular dementia (SIVD)

In partnership with the British Heart Foundation, we are funding a new major clinical trial for vascular dementia. Led by Professor Peter Passmore at Queen's University Belfast, the £2.25 million trial will recruit 600 people from around the UK and will last for four years.

Despite being the second most common type of dementia, there are currently no effective treatments available for vascular dementia. This trial is a big step forward and, if successful, could provide a new treatment in as little as five to ten years.

The trial will recruit people with a particular type of vascular dementia called subcortical ischaemic vascular dementia (SIVD). It is estimated that 150,000 people in the UK have vascular dementia and about two thirds of them will have SIVD.

Forming part of our Drug Discovery programme, this trial will take an existing drug and test whether it can be used to treat dementia.

The drug to be tested is amlodipine, a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure. By testing a drug that is already widely prescribed, we hope to dramatically reduce the time and money required to develop new treatments for dementia.

The application for this trial was developed in collaboration with some of our Research Network volunteers with experience of vascular dementia, to ensure that it would have the greatest benefit and a design suitable for people with this form of dementia.

People taking part in the trial will either receive amlodipine or a placebo pill for one year and will be monitored over two years. The researchers will test whether people taking amlodipine show any improvements in memory and cognition compared to the people taking the placebo drug.

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