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.
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