A clinical trial to investigate whether deferiprone delays dementia progression in the early stages of dementia.

Study in progress
This research study is no longer accepting participants. The following details are for information only.

About this study

Research has shown a relationship between higher levels of brain iron, the presence of the Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid, and poorer memory and language skills. The purpose of this study is to test the effects of deferiprone on your disease.

Deferiprone (fast-release formulation) is approved in Australia to treat thalassaemia, a blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of red blood cells. However, deferiprone in a different form (now a delayed-release formulation) is an experimental treatment for early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This means it is not:

  • Approved and must be tested to see if it is an effective treatment
  • Guaranteed to treat early AD

Anticipated enrolment close date: December 2021

Who can take part

  • Aged over 55 years with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer's disease (Mini-Mental State Examination)
  • Living in the community
  • On stable medications

What's involved

  • 3-monthly visits to the RMH for the duration of the study
  • Cognitive testing (memory, processing of information) every three months
  • Two MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Weekly bloods to be taken at local Dorevitch Pathology for first six months
Person handling test tubes for research


All research in Australia involving human participants is reviewed by an independent group called a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). The ethical aspects of this research study have been approved by the Royal Melbourne Hospital HREC.

This study is being carried out according to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). This statement protects the interests of people who agree to participate in human research studies.

The RMH Clinical Trials Centre
Clinical Trials Centre

The Clinical Trials Centre (CTC) is a dedicated, purpose-built space where we conduct clinical trials.

The CTC is located on Level 2 South. When you arrive, if you are unsure where to go, talk to one of our friendly volunteers or the information desk staff.

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