Modifying Today's Lifestyles to Improve Brain Health

Posted on

Feb 07, 2018

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More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease with the greatest risk factor being increasing age. In order to tackle this growing epidemic, the Alzheimers Association is launching a $20 million U.S. clinical trial--US POINTER (PrOtect through a lifestyle INTErvention to Reduce risk).

The study will assess the impact of physical exercise, nutritional counseling and modification, cognitive and social stimulation, and improved self-management of medical conditions on cognitive decline. The POINTER study is a critical study to promote and protect brain health and potentially reduce an individuals risk of developing dementia. The research study will bring more awareness and education regarding the brain benefits of remaining mentally, physically and socially active, shares Dr. Claudia Padilla, Medical Director for Research at the Baylor AT&T Memory Center and Greater Dallas Alzheimers Association Advancing Research Advisory Committee Chair.
Starting in January 2018, there will be 2,500 study participants ages 60-79 years old who have no current cognitive symptoms, but are at increased risk for later cognitive decline through medical conditions that increase the risk for dementia (e.g., hypertension and other cardiovascular events, elevated blood sugar). Local Alzheimers Association offices will work with community-based organizations to deliver the exercise, nutrition, social and medical aspects of the intervention. The success of the intervention will be evaluated based on two-year change in cognitive function, focused on short-term memory, attention and concentration. The trial will provide health education and support through in-person group meetings on health-and aging-related topics, as well as annual feedback on laboratory tests.

Dr. Mary Quiceno, Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medical Education at TCU/UNTHSC School of Medicine is also encouraged by the potential of this study, As a researcher and clinician diagnosing people every clinic with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, I am looking forward to the POINTER study. We must be proactive and prevent as much cognitive impairment as possible. Similar studies in Europe have shown positive results slowing cognitive decline & keeping brains healthy through lifestyle changes. I need something very specific to prescribe to my worried patients. Dr. Quiceno also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Alzheimers Association. For more information, please visit orAlzheimers Association, Greater Dallas Chapter

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