The SC CTSI provided support for research to study a drug that may ultimately restore cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The research by principal investigators Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, professor of pharmacology & pharmaceutical sciences, USC School of Pharmacy, and Lon S. Schneider, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and gerontology, Keck School of Medicine of USC, led to $2.4 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to test the first regenerative therapeutic for the treatment of AD.
“Our grant from the National Institute of Aging, which is among the first to be funded under the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, provides an extraordinary opportunity,” said Brinton. “We would not have gotten this grant without early support from the SC CTSI.”
The clinical trial, now in recruitment phase, will evaluate the safety and tolerability of allopregnanolone. This natural brain steroid may help in treating AD and mild cognitive impairment. To complement the clinical trial data, the research team plans to develop biomarkers and collect brain images with research collaborators at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC and the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute.