Top level navigation

Breadcrumb to current page

Main content

Professor Brian Lawlor

Clinical trial in Alzheimer's disease

Professor Lawlor

Professor Brian Lawlor, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist, St James's Hospital and Trinity College Dublin was awarded €6 million from the EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7) to coordinate an international team researching the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

The NILVAD research project, which will be the largest investigator-led clinical trial in Alzheimer's disease ever conducted in Europe, has two main objectives;

i) to carry out a Phase III trial of Nilvadipine on patients in Europe and

ii) to develop a network of investigators across Europe who can lead future investigator-initiated studies into Alzheimer's disease.

The proposal was ranked first in its category by international evaluators.

This major multicentre clinical trial in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease will determine whether Nilvadipine can improve memory and also slow the rate of progression of Alzheimer's disease. Nilvadipine is an approved medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure and in previous work by Professor Lawlor and collaborators this drug has been shown to decrease the risk of developing dementia.

The NILVAD research consortium led by Professor Lawlor consists of 25 investigator sites in 9 European countries (Ireland, UK, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands).

Commenting on the significance of the award for the development of clinical research in Ireland, Dr Anne Cody Head of Clinical and Applied Biomedical Research at the Health Research Board said, 'Professor Lawlor's success speaks for his vision and hard work, and recognises the research excellence in Ireland. The HRB is driving the development of excellent clinical research in Ireland and I am delighted we were able to support this application process. There are huge opportunities for the Irish research community, from public and private sector, industry participants and health professionals to participate in the EU programmes'. 

Professor Lawlor's proposal was developed with the assistance of the HRB National Contact Point (NCP) for FP7 Health, Dr Caitriona Creely. Commenting on the assistance he received from the HRB NCP he said, 'The advice and support I received at every step of the way from the NCP was invaluable to me as someone who was a novice in terms of FP7. Caitriona also put me in touch with key people who had experience in European multi-centre clinical trial applications and this helped hugely with my own submission'.

It is estimated that in Ireland alone 44,000 people currently have Alzheimer's or other dementias, and that this will rise to 104,000 by 2036, mainly due to the ageing of the Irish population.

Search the HRB website

Other information and links