New study aims at stop­ping Alzheimer’s Dis­ease be­fore it starts

Truro Daily News - - ATLANTIC / LIFESTYLES - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.Dear­Abby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif., 90069.

DEAR ABBY: More than 10,000 baby boomers in the U.S. turn 65 every day, and en­ter the “age of risk” for Alzheimer’s dis­ease. I have wit­nessed the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of this dis­ease in my work as a neu­rol­o­gist, as a clin­i­cal re­searcher and, sadly, in my own fam­ily.

The good news is that we are now start­ing pre­ven­tion tri­als to try to stop mem­ory loss be­fore it begins. The A4 (Anti-Amy­loid Treat­ment in Asymp­tomatic Alzheimer’s) Study is the first clin­i­cal trial de­signed for peo­ple who have the ear­li­est signs of Alzheimer’s dis­ease be­gin­ning in the brain, but don’t yet have any symp­toms of the dis­ease. The A4 Study is en­rolling healthy 65- to 85-year-olds across the coun­try who may be at risk for mem­ory loss due to Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

I feel a new sense of hope, but we re­ally need vol­un­teers to join us. Our motto for the A4 Study is “Now is the time,” and now re­ally is the time to make a dif­fer­ence in de­feat­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

I hope your read­ers who are in­ter­ested will call (toll-free) 1-844-247-8839 or visit A4s­tudy. org to re­ceive more in­for­ma­tion or to join us. – REISA SPER­LING, M.D., PROJECT DI­REC­TOR, HAR­VARD MED­I­CAL SCHOOL

DEAR DR. SPER­LING: I’m pleased to alert my read­ers to your clin­i­cal trial. Liv­ing to a “ripe old age” can be a mixed bless­ing be­cause the older we get, the greater the like­li­hood of Alzheimer’s dis­ease en­ter­ing the pic­ture.

Read­ers, Dr. Sper­ling is look­ing for sub­jects with a fam­ily his­tory of Alzheimer’s dis­ease or who, through pre­screen­ing, have been dis­cov­ered to have amy­loid plaques form­ing in the brain. There are more than 65 study sites through­out the U.S. and sev­eral in Canada, so you may be able to find a lo­ca­tion near you.

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