A trial being conducted in WA for preventing and delaying Alzheimer's disease will combine testosterone and fish oil.
About 400 WA men over the age of 60 are needed for the world-first clinical trial to prevent or postpone Alzheimer’s.
The study will investigate the effects of a combined treatment of testosterone and a fish-oil component on people who had memory problems, which indicated a risk of the disease.
Led by internationally-renowned, WA-based expert Professor Ralph Martins from Perth’s McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, the study has already had 200 calls from people interested in participating.
Prof Martins said those people would need to be screened, but from the level of interest received so far, he was confident the trial would have the number of participants it needs for the 14-month trial.
He said participants would be asked to make contact with the research centre every 10 to 12 weeks for an injection.
Prof Martins said the new treatment was aimed at getting in early before any primary damage to brain cells.
“It is not going to be a magic bullet, but if we can reduce it by 10 or 15 per cent that would be excellent,” he said.
Prof Martins said people looking for a miracle pill to cure Alzheimer’s would not find it, but future treatments could include combined efforts including fish oil, which he believed would be a major player in preventing and delaying the onslaught of the disease.
Health Minister Kim Hames said while anecdotal evidence already suggested that testosterone and the fish oil component were beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, there had never been a clinical trial investigating both substances together.
Dr Hames said with an ageing population, age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia would only become more prevalent, which was why the State Government had committed $500,000 for the new trial.
“The State Government is ensuring treatment and care for patients with these conditions keeps up with demand by building new hospitals and opening more beds,” he said.
“However, it is just as critical that we continue supporting this type of research that may delay or prevent this disease.”