Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study

ARRA Funded Alzheimer’s Disease Study Seeks Volunteers

In one month it will be a year since my mother passed away living her final years with Alzheimer’s Disease. Now a days it is hard to find someone that hasn’t been touched by this very personal and sad disease. Growing up with a Navy doctor as a father, we traveled and lived all over the world. My mother remembered everything and everyone. In my adult life, I spent a lot of conversations with her admitting I didn’t remember the neighbors or friends I had in elementary school or junior high. But for some reason she did. In the end she died not knowing any of her seven children, grandchildren, or even her husband of 55 years.

Diane Mullin (March 1934 - July 2011)

The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a landmark study that began in 2004, is a public-private research partnership tasked with identifying biomarkers to detect Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study has gathered and analyzed thousands of brain scans, genetic profiles and biomarkers in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The study was designed to enable researchers to follow AD as it progresses in an individual, from various points in the disease process. This statement comes from the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study web site. A complete summary of the study’s background can be found there. You can also find an informational video there.

The research is the largest and most comprehensive we have seen in the disease. The project found funding from ARRA and is now in the third phase known as ADNI 2. The study is seeking help from family physicians throughout the US. According to principal investigator Michael Weiner, M.D., a professor of medicine, radiology, psychiatry and neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, ADNI2 is seeking 550 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 90 who have been diagnosed with early mild cognitive impairment, late mild cognitive impairment or early/mild Alzheimer’s disease. Here are the requirements for volunteering for ADNI 2 from the study.

ADNI 2 is actively enrolling through August 2013 and the study will run through 2017. Researchers are looking for 550 volunteers between the ages of 55 and 90:

  • 150 with no apparent memory problems
  • 100 with early mild cognitive impairment (eMCI)
  • 150 with late mild cognitive impairment (lMCI)
  • 150 with mild AD

All ADNI 2 volunteers should be:

  • In good general health
  • Fluent in English or Spanish
  • Willing and able to undergo the test procedures)
  • Accompanied by a study partner – a friend or relative who can go with the volunteer to all clinic visits and has at least 10 hours of contact per week with the volunteer.

The project has asked the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) for help in recruiting. The organization represents 105,900 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students nationwide. Dr. Weiner discussed the study with AAFP News NOW and said ADNI is working to predict and monitor the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease using biomarkers found in blood and cerebrospinal fluid, as well as MRI scans and various positron emission tomography imaging methods. “There have been lots of advances … and some of these measurements are looking at the basic biology of what’s going on in the brain as the disease progresses. Biomarkers allow us to better detect who does and does not have the disease and allow us to characterize the subjects.” Visit their News NOW announcement for more on the study and how to participate.

Please pass this along to help a very important study.