Welcome to our patient glossary!
Some of the words we use might be new to you, so we’ve broken down our most frequented terms and phrases.
A lumbar puncture is a collection of cerebrospinal fluid taken from a needle, after being inserted into your two lumbar bones at the bottom of your spine. A lumbar puncture gives our doctors an indication of Alzheimer’s related brain proteins, such as Beta Amyloid or Tau. Watch this video by the Alzheimer’s Society to learn more about the process of a lumbar puncture.
Along with Tau, this is one of the proteins that researchers have identified as contributing to the onset of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
This is when one or more parties involved in the trial does not know which drug, the placebo or the real drug, has been assigned to which patient. It helps prevent conscious or unconscious bias throughout the trial.
In a double-blind trial, only the study pharmacist knows what medication the patient has been assigned. The participants, nurses, doctors and other clinical staff are unaware.
European Medicines Agency – This is an EU agency that oversees the use of medicinal products.
Cognitive assessments are used to measure things such as memory, language, reasoning and perception. If you are enrolled on one of our Alzheimer’s trials, we may complete one of these assessments with you.
An MMSE exam is a type of cognitive assessment. It is used a lot in research and helps diagnose dementia and its severity. It will test a patient’s memory, attention and language through a series of questions, but there are no right or wrong answers and it is not something you can pass or fail – it exists only as an indication of your current cognitive function.
These types of tests will assess how well a patients’ nervous system is functioning.
This is done so that researchers are able to discover the true pharmacological effect of the real drug, and so that the placebo effect is accounted for. The patient will not be told until the unblinding process which drug they were given.