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Clinical Trials

Nilvadipine in mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease (NILVAD)


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an ever-increasing public health concern among the aging population and is the most common form of dementia affecting more than 15 million individuals worldwide and around 5 million Europeans. The direct and indirect costs of AD and other dementias amount to more than €440,000 million each year (, 2010).

Nilvadipine is a licensed blood pressure medication with a proven safety record in people with high blood pressure and more recently has been shown to be well tolerated and safe in older people with Alzheimer’s disease. There is preliminary evidence for clinical benefit in individuals with cognitive impairment and strong scientific support for an anti-amyloid effect in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Even modest therapeutic advances that delay disease onset and progression could significantly reduce the global burden of the disease and the level of care required by patients. The NILVAD clinical trial aims to examine the effect of taking nilvadipine on the rate of deterioration in patient memory and cognition. If this trial is successful, nilvadipine would represent an advance in the treatment of AD patients and would have a major impact on the health and social care costs.

Why carry out the research?

Current medication for Alzheimer’s disease treat the symptomatic signs of the disease, as such they do not delay onset or prevent the disease process itself. There is therefore a great need to develop new treatments that are able to modify the course of the disease.

How is the research being undertaken?

The NILVAD study will recruit 500 (60 in the UK) people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to examine the effect of taking nilvadipine compared to taking placebo on the rate of deterioration in patients’ memory and cognition over an 18 month period.

Where is it happening?

This is an international trial carried out by 17 different partners in 11 countries across Europe and Scandinavia. For the UK, this trial is based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Old Age Psychiatry.

Who is involved?

This trial received funding by the European Union’s seventh framework programme (, and is coordinated by Professor Brian Lawlor in Dublin, and Professor Robert Howard at the Institute of Psychiatry.

What is the timescale?

The trial is due to finish recruitment of participants in December 2014.

To find out more please contact:-

Professor Robert Howard
020 7848 0545

Jessica Adams
020 7848 0549  

Zainab Al-Noor

Hannah Grocott

Tlf: 020 7848 5153

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