Alzheimer’s Prevention Study Seeking Volunteers in Buffalo, Rochester Regions

June 09, 2004

"People are feeling good about being proactive and doing something about the illness, whether it’s to help themselves or their children or grandchildren."

            University of Rochester doctors are opening an office in Buffalo in an effort to boost the number of people enrolling in the first national study to test a method for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

            Already approximately 50 people from the Buffalo area drive to Rochester at least twice a year as part of the study. They’re part of a group of about 2,300 people around the country, including 280 people in upstate New York, who have committed themselves to being available for seven years to doctors and nurses who check the participants’ memory and watch for signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

            “We’ve had a lot of people say they’d like to take part in the study, but they can’t commit to making the drive on a regular basis,” says Colleen McCallum, one of the coordinators of the study. “This should make it a lot easier for our volunteers.”

            The new office and exam room at Tennyson Court, a senior care living facility in Williamsville, has just opened and is designed both for people currently in the study as well as new participants who were put off by the drive to Rochester.

            So far the study has attracted people from throughout upstate New York, from west of Buffalo to Elmira, Ithaca and Binghamton, and even east of Syracuse.

            “People are feeling good about being proactive and doing something about the illness, whether it’s to help themselves or their children or grandchildren,” says Pierre Tariot, M.D., director of the University's Geriatric Neurology and Psychiatry Clinic, who is leading the Rochester portion of the study. “They’re really proud they’re contributing.

            “While we’re still working as much as ever on new treatments for Alzheimer’s isease, we really need to focus more vigorously on prevention. This is because several treatments for Alzheimer’s that once appeared promising have turned out to not be beneficial, raising the stakes for this study.”

            The Alzheimer’s Disease Anti-Inflammatory Prevention Trial, or ADAPT, is aimed at finding out whether medications known as cox inhibitors, commonly used to treat arthritis, help delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The study began three years ago in four cities – Rochester, Boston, Baltimore, and Phoenix – and has been expanded to include participants in Seattle and Tampa. The study is funded by the National Institute of Aging.

            Researchers are hoping to recruit at least 4,000 people nationally for the study, including about 600 people in upstate New York.

            Anyone 70 years of age or older, with a family member who has or had Alzheimer’s disease or symptoms such as serious memory loss, is invited to participate. Participants will have medical checkups twice each year and will be interviewed by phone twice more annually. Anyone interested in volunteering should call (585) 760-6574 or toll-free 1-866-2-STOP-AD (1-866-278-6723). Additional information is available at www.2stopad.org.

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