Assoc Prof Michael Woodward

Alzheimer's disease research makes international headlines

Austin Health and The Florey have attracted international headlines today about a world-first study exploring whether reducing excessive iron in the brain will prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Too much iron in the brain is toxic and researchers from The Florey proved in a study published in Nature two years ago that iron levels in the brain can predict when people will get Alzheimer's disease. This study aims to show how removing excessive amounts with a drug called deferiprone can stave off the debilitating disease.

Director of Austin Health's Medical Cognitive Research Unit and Principal Investigator for the study, Assoc Prof Michael Woodward told Bloomberg that researchers are optimistic.

"The feeling of all of us is that we are on a winner," said Michael Woodward, a geriatrician and principal investigator of the study at Melbourne's Austin Health, which pioneered brain-imaging techniques used to diagnose Alzheimer's. "But, who knows -- we have to prove it."

Assoc Prof Woodward said about 30 patients will take part in the trial on the site.

Read the Bloomberg story here: Pulling Iron From The Brain May Offer Hope in Alzheimer's Fight.