New study aims at stop­ping Alzheimer’s be­fore it starts

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

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-yearolds 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 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.

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.

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, CA 90069.

ANDREWS MCMEEL SYN­DI­CA­TION

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