March 09, 2006

University Memory and Aging Center part of national brain imaging study on Alzheimer's disease

Largest, Most Comprehensive Study of Its Kind

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks men and women in Northeast Ohio between the ages of 55 and 90 to participate in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a landmark research study. The study is being conducted locally at the University Memory and Aging Center of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland as part of a nationwide, $60 million effort to identify brain and other biological changes associated with memory decline. Cleveland is one of 58 sites participating in the study.

The goal of the initiative is to speed up the search for treatments and cures for Alzheimer's disease by seeing whether imaging of the brain, through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) scans, every six months can help predict and monitor the onset and progression of Alzheimer's. In addition, samples of blood and, for some participants, cerebral spinal fluid will be collected and tested to determine if these biomarkers can predict and monitor the disease. It is hoped that imaging techniques and biomarkers will prove useful in testing the effectiveness of new therapies in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's or preventing the disease altogether.

Nationally, researchers seek 800 people who are in good general health with no memory problems, or are in good general health but have memory problems or concerns, or have a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease.

A special aspect of the project is the support of Maya Angelou, the eminent poet, author, educator, and historian. Angelou, a professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, is working with the researchers to ask the public to take part in the study. She will support the national ADNI recruitment outreach campaign, "Imagine Stopping the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease," by appearing in radio and print public service announcements. Angelou has a number of close friends who have suffered the effects of Alzheimer's.

The University Memory and Aging Center is located at 12200 Fairhilll Road in Cleveland, about a mile from Shaker Square. There is no charge for the voluntary, confidential study. For more information about the study, please contact Sherye Sirrel, project coordinator, at (216) 844-6416.

Alzheimer's disease affects one in 10 Americans over the age of 65. By the year 2050, 13 million Americans may suffer from the disease.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 9, 2006 10:35 AM | News Topics: Research, School of Medicine

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