UC Davis gets $6 mil­lion to study im­pact of life­style changes on Alzheimer’s

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY CATHIE AN­DER­SON can­der­[email protected]

The Alzheimer’s As­so­ci­a­tion gave $6 mil­lion to the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis, to fund its par­tic­i­pa­tion in a land­mark study that will look at whether older adults can ward off de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in their mem­ory and think­ing by adopt­ing par­tic­u­lar life­style changes, the univer­sity announced Thurs­day.

Over the next 18 months, UC Davis will en­roll 400 adults ages 60 to 79 to par­tic­i­pate in the U.S. Study to Pro­tect Brain Health through Life­style Interventi­on to Re­duce Risk. It’s more com­monly known as the U.S. POINTER study, and it’s based on a two-year study of at-risk el­derly peo­ple in Fin­land that was called the FIN­GER study.

The Fin­nish re­searchers found that par­tic­i­pants main­tained or im­proved their cog­ni­tive func­tion – rea­son­ing, mem­ory , at­ten­tion, and lan­guage – by ex­er­cis­ing, eat­ing a healthy diet, tak­ing on men­tally chal­leng­ing tasks and mon­i­tor­ing risk fac­tors for heart dis­ease.

“U.S. POINTER is the first large-scale ef­fort to test whether mul­ti­ple life­style changes can pre­vent cog­ni­tive de­cline,” said Rachel Whit­mer, pro­fes­sor of pub­lic health sci­ences and prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor of the study. “We are thrilled to be the sec­ond site of this land­mark trial.”

Sarah Farias, a pro­fes­sor of neu­rol­ogy and co-prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor for the UC Davis re­search, de­scribed the Fin­nish ap­proach as more promis­ing than any med­i­ca­tions cur­rently avail­able for Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimers As­so­ci­a­tion fund­ing was given to the UCD Alzheimer’s Dis­ease Cen­ter and UCD Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health Sci­ences.

If you would like to see whether you’re el­i­gi­ble for the U.S. POINTER study, con­tact the study co­or­di­na­tor at UC Davis Health at 916-734-0121.

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