Saving Lives with an Alzheimer Drug

Each year, more than 300,000 children worldwide are born suffering from sickle cell anemia. In patients with this disease, the gene that contains the inherited information for red blood cells, or hemoglobin, is different. When the body is under stress, such as during a fever, the red blood cells form a crescent, or sickle, shape and clump together. This leads to a reduced blood flow, an increased risk of thrombosis and severe pain.

New treatment approach with memantine
An Alzheimer drug could help protect those affected from suffering the devastating consequences of this congenital disease. A team of researchers led by UZH Professor Max Gassmann has achieved a major breakthrough: They have discovered that the drug memantine helps to prevent red blood cells from assuming a sickle shape.

african mother quelle pixabay
The discovery made by UZH researchers increases the chances of successfully treating sickle cell anemia sufferers all over the world. (©pixabay)

Your support
A patient study has already established that memantine can be used in principle for sickle cell anemia. Now a follow-up study is investigating the effects, safety and ideal dosage of the Alzheimer drug using a larger number of patients.

The UZH Foundation is looking for donors to provide funding for this large-scale patient study. Support us in ensuring that millions of patients will soon be able to benefit from this promising new treatment.


(Brigitte Blöchlinger / Sprecherin: Regina Peter)

Young Sickle Cell Anemia patient participating in the follow-up study in Israel. (©Max Gassmann)


Overview of projects
For further information, please read our Fact Sheet

Your Contact

Annette 2020 def rund2

Annette Kielholz
Project Management Fundraising

Phone: +41 44 634 61 83