UAB joins international study of promising Alzheimer’s disease treatment

The AHEAD study is looking to recruit people at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease for a new study.

Inside natelson love studyThe Ahead study will recruit persons with risk factors for Alzheimer's to study two investigational treatments.Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are recruiting volunteers for a study testing an investigational treatment that aims to help prevent the earliest memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease.

The AHEAD Study is the first Alzheimer’s disease research study to recruit people as young as 55 years old who are at risk of developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as they get older. It introduces a personalized approach that will tailor treatment dosing levels to a participant’s particular risk of memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health and Eisai Inc., a United States subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., the international AHEAD study seeks to enroll 1,165 participants from North America ages 55 to 80 without a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. UAB is one of more than 100 study locations around the world.

“The tailored approach of this study, starting treatment years before memory loss has begun, has the potential to be a breakthrough in our aim to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” said Marissa Natelson Love, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurology, Heersink School of Medicine and primary investigator at UAB. “It can potentially serve as a model to improve clinical trials in Alzheimer’s research and other diseases.” 

NatelsonLoveMarissa Natelson Love, M.D., associate professor of Neurology, leads the AHEAD study at UAB.The AHEAD Study consists of two different clinical trials testing the same investigational treatment, an anti-amyloid antibody called lecanemab. Participants are enrolled in one of the two trials based on the level of amyloid in their brain. Amyloid is a protein that builds up in people who can go on to have memory problems and develop Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier studies suggested that lecanemab slowed cognitive decline in patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Individuals interested in volunteering for the AHEAD study can go to and click Join Study, or contact Princess Carter, DNP, in the UAB Division of Memory Disorders and Behavioral Neurology, at 205-934-6223 or

The sixth leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.

The AHEAD study is supported by the NIH’s National Institute on Aging under award numbers R01AG054029 and R01AG061848. The AHEAD Study, clinical trial number NCT04468659, received funding from NIH and from nongovernmental sources.