Featured News JCU researchers investigate potential treatment for walking impairment due to blocked arteries

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Thu, 30 Jul 2020

JCU researchers investigate potential treatment for walking impairment due to blocked arteries

Seen from behind, two elderly people walk down a lane
The researchers are seeking participants for the clinical trial, which is taking place in Townsville and Brisbane. Photo: Micheile Henderson, Unsplash.

James Cook University researchers are seeking volunteers for a clinical trial to find out if a new drug treatment can improve walking impairment in people with blocked leg arteries.

Researchers from JCU’s Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease, involving collaborators from across Queensland, are conducting clinical trials to investigate whether a new drug can be used for treating blocked leg artery-related walking impairment.

“People with blocked leg arteries have a substantially reduced ability to walk, which leads to a decrease in their quality of life,” said JCU clinical researcher Alkira Deren. “There is currently only one drug treatment for this problem, which is not very effective or easily available.”

Blocked leg arteries are common in older people, although up to 5 per cent of 50-year-olds also have the problem. Important risk factors for blocked leg arteries include smoking, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

“It’s estimated that approximately 1 million Australians have blocked leg arteries,” Ms Deren said. “It is also becoming more common, with the number of people with the problem increasing by approximately 30 per cent over the past 10 years.”

The researchers are seeking participants for the clinical trial, which is taking place in Townsville and Brisbane. Participants need to have been diagnosed with blocked arteries in their legs, be able to walk independently (with or without a walking aid), have difficulty walking due to pain in their lower limbs, and not have diabetes.

The study, led by Professor Jonathan Golledge, aims to determine if taking the new drug up to three times per day, over a six-month period will improve walking ability and quality of life in people with blocked leg arteries. Participation involves four visits over six months and a number of phone calls to guide participants through the trial.

People interested in participating in the study should contact the Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease at qrcpvd@jcu.edu.au or by phone 4781 5715 or 4433 1739.

Contacts

Alkira Deren

Clinical Trial Coordinator

alkira.venn@jcu.edu.au

Jenna Pinchbeck

Senior Research Worker and Clinical Trial Coordinator

jenna.pinchbeck@jcu.edu.au