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U.S. POINTER Aims at Change

Alzheimer’s Association funds large study on lifestyle interventions

In summer 2018, the Alzheimer’s Association will launch the first-ever U.S.-based study to examine the effects of lifestyle interventions for seniors at high-risk for cognitive decline. The 2-year clinical trial will enroll 2,500 participants from health systems across the country, and intervention categories will include:

  • healthy nutrition
  • physical activity
  • social interactions and intellectual challenges
  • frequent monitoring of medical conditions that increase risk of cognitive decline

$20 million has been committed to the national study entitled Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk, or U.S. POINTER. Participants will represent a wide range of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds.

The study results could have a great impact on the Coachella Valley population. “The Alzheimer’s Association of the Coachella Valley has been serving our desert communities for 20 years,” said Cortney Weir, regional director for the Coachella Valley. “We are thrilled to know that once again the Alzheimer’s Association will be at the forefront of important research, in this case how improved lifestyle choices and activities may reduce our likelihood of facing cognitive decline and dementia.”

The results of a recent two-year clinical trial in Finland suggested that a multi-component intervention of physical activity, nutritional guidance, cognitive training, social activities, and management of heart health risk factors can protect cognition in healthy older adults who are at an increased risk of cognitive decline. Since there are currently no drug treatments that can rival this effect, there is an urgent need to replicate and expand this work in geographically and culturally diverse populations, such as the U.S.

“We must test all options to treat and prevent this horrible disease,” said Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer. “We must find the answers for the millions dying with Alzheimer’s and their families, and the tens of millions more who will become affected if we do not act now. The Alzheimer’s Association is extremely proud to launch this clinical trial with our scientific partners.”

For more on the U.S. POINTER Study and additional Alzheimer’s Association research initiatives, visit alz.org. For local programs and services for those facing Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers, contact the Alzheimer’s Association of the Coachella Valley at (760) 996.0006. For a calendar of local events visit alz.org/socal.

5 Responses to “U.S. POINTER Aims at Change”

  1. Pamla Clark says:

    I am interested in participating in the U.S. POINTER study funded by the Alzheimer’s Association. I am 74 years old and my mother died of Alzheimer’s. I live in the Washington, D.C. area. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Lauren Del Sarto says:

      Thank you, Pamela! I will forward your request to Cortney Weir, the Exec Dir of the local Alzheimer’s Association. I am certain she will reach out to you.

      With appreciation ~

      Lauren

    • Cortney Weir says:

      Hello Pamla, Thank you so much for your interest in the US Pointer Study being undertaken by the Alzheimer’s Association. Participants in the study will be chosen based on a randomized selection from various geographical areas in the country who also meet certain medical criteria that is established, so there is no opportunity to “volunteer” for the study. We greatly appreciate your interest in this important research and in helping to find new treatments and interventions for Alzheimer’s disease. Please stay tuned for more information as the Study progresses.

  2. Fran Tetlak says:

    I live in NC and read that one of the first two Pointer Study sites will be here. I would very much like to participate in the study. I am 71 with hypertension and otherwise healthy and active. Please forward my info the the right person if you could please….many thanks, Fran

  3. Cortney Weir says:

    Hello Fran and Pamla, Thank you so much for your interest in the US Pointer Study being undertaken by the Alzheimer’s Association. Participants in the study will be chosen based on a randomized selection from various geographical areas in the country who also meet certain medical criteria that is established, so there is no opportunity to “volunteer” for the study. We greatly appreciate your interest in this important research and in helping to find new treatments and interventions for Alzheimer’s disease. Please stay tuned for more information as the Study progresses.

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