Healthy se­niors sought for ef­fort to stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks

San Francisco Chronicle - - DATEBOOK - By Jeanne Phillips Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or www.dear­ Uni­ver­sal Press Syndicate

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) (844) 247-8839 or visit www.A4s­ to re­ceive more in­for­ma­tion or to join us. Dr. Reisa Sper­ling, 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. Dear Abby: I have been some­what taken aback by two re­tire­ment party in­vi­ta­tions I re­ceived lately. Both re­quire an “en­trance fee” of $15 to $20. I have never heard of or ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing like this be­fore. When I re­tired from teach­ing 10 years ago, I held my own re­tire­ment party at my home. I sup­plied the food and bev­er­ages and re­quested “no gifts, please.” Is there a new cus­tom that re­quires peo­ple to pay an ad­mis­sion price to a party? If some­one pays to go to the party, is he/she also ex­pected to bring a gift? Hon­estly, I’m a lit­tle put off be­ing asked to pay to cel­e­brate my friends’ re­tire­ments. Should I be, or is

this an ap­pro­pri­ate re­quest? Won­der­ing in Ohio

Dear Won­der­ing: I don’t blame you for feel­ing put off. I don’t know who is sup­pos­edly giv­ing the par­ties for your friends, but if you’re be­ing asked to pay for your food and bev­er­ages, it ap­pears that no host is. If you pay to at­tend th­ese par­ties, your pres­ence should be your gift. And if you choose not to go, I wouldn’t blame you.

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