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December 2022 Newsletter

Recruitment Accelerator for Diversity in Aging Research

The Recruitment Accelerator for Diversity in Aging Research, Cognitive Loss & Dementia (RADAR-CLD) project is a model framework for recruitment of diverse participants in cognitive and aging research. RADAR-CLD is funded by a National Institute on Aging (NIA) grant and run by teams at Mount Sinai and SUNY Upstate with support from Recruitment Partners. The grant is in its last year.

RADAR-CLD is composed of two main components:

  • The Research Accelerators is made up of researchers, clinicians, community organizers, faith-based leaders, geriatrics service providers, caregivers, and older adults. The Research Accelerators provide researchers with input on their recruitment strategy and study design to ensure the study addresses equity in recruitment, and retention. Research Accelerators determine whether protocols are developed to facilitate diverse recruitment. Research Accelerators provide researchers with recommendations and a written report.
  • The Community Research Liaison (CRL) fosters an environment of trust and mutual respect between community members and researchers so that targeted members of a specific community feel open to and enthusiastic about participating in research.

Planning cognitive research in aging? Need to ensure you have diverse populations in your research? We can help. Connect with the RADAR team today HERE.

View the RADAR poster presented by Dr. Mary Sano and Mike Splaine at CTAD titled  “Recruitment Accelerator for Diversity in Aging Research – Cognitive Loss and Dementia (RADAR-CLD): Perspectives on Registry Recruitment”. The poster highlights the Accelerator which brings together perspectives on research from patients, advocates, clinicians, researchers, public health and industry leaders to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of research.

Dementia Resources for American Indians & Alaska Natives

The Urban Indian Health Institute just published this new Clinical Trial Guide on clinical trial participation for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This resource was made specifically for Native people who are currently participating in clinical trials or who would like to understand more about what clinical trial participation can look like. The Urban Indian Health Institute aims to demystify clinical trial participation and encourage informed conversations between clinical trial participants and researchers, and the information in this pocketbook is one tool to help you support your patients.

Download the guide to learn more here.

Holiday Hints for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Consider these tips to help you balance busy holiday activities with everyday care for a person with Alzheimer’s:

  • Try to avoid situations that may confuse or frustrate the person with Alzheimer’s, such as changes in routine and strange places.
  • Involve the person with Alzheimer’s in simple holiday preparations or have him or her observe your preparations. Participating with you may give the person the pleasure of helping and the fun of anticipating and reminiscing.
  • Set limits and be clear about them with others. Find time for adequate rest for the person with Alzheimer’s and for yourself.

Find more hints for Alzheimer’s caregivers during the holidays

LEAF STUDY for Family Caregivers

If you are a family caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you may benefit from participating in the LEAF Study. Caregivers do all they can to support their loved one with Alzheimer’s but it is important for caregivers to take time for themselves.

LEAF is designed to increase levels of positive emotion and provide supportive tools for caregivers. As a fully online program, participants take part in an hour-long learning session once a week for six weeks. Participation is free of cost. LEAF is funded by the National Institute on Aging. Registration for LEAF ends this month.

Interested in joining the study? Learn more and sign up here.

Dementia Choir at Abbey Road

The UK Dementia Choir made history by becoming the first-ever dementia choir to record at the world-famous Abbey Road studios.  Karen Smalley wrote the song, “What’s Your Story?,” played by her band, The Idolins. The song features vocals from all 16 choir members. Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure began as part of a documentary created for BBC. The two-part documentary series takes viewers on a deeply personal journey with acclaimed actress, Vicky McClure, where she explores the amazing effect music has for individuals living with dementia. Vicky McClure, whose grandmother lived with dementia, formed a choir of people all living with dementia in her hometown of Nottingham, England. Stream or download the song here.

What’s Happening in the Alzheimer’s Field?

Blood Tests to Detect Alzheimer’s

The new blood tests detect tiny amounts of abnormal proteins in the blood to determine whether the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s are present in the brain.

Many neurologists say it is a matter of time before the tests are adopted more widely, providing clarity for a disease that is notoriously difficult to diagnose and helping determine which patients should get new treatments – if federal regulators approve therapies now under review.

These tests are less expensive and invasive than other tests to detect Alzheimers such as spinal taps and CT scans. However, at present, most of these blood tests are not yet covered by insurance and are still costly.

Learn more here.

Alzheimer’s Tied to Cholesterol, Abnormal Nerve Insulation

Researchers found evidence that the Alzheimer’s-related gene APOE4 disrupts cholesterol management in the brain and weakens insulation around nerve fibers. The team conducted a multi-pronged study that assessed gene activity of all major cell types in human donated brain tissue from 32 men and women who had one, two, or no copies of the APOE4 gene. Results were published in Nature.

The researchers found that APOE4 affected cholesterol-manufacturing genes and cholesterol-transporting genes in specific cells called oligodendrocytes. Oligodendrocytes are found in the brain and spinal cord and their role is to make and maintain a fatty substance called myelin that surrounds and insulates long nerve fibers. This finding may help researchers design new treatments for Alzheimer’s.

Learn more here.

Clinical Effects of ALZ-801

Alzheon CMO, Dr. Susan Abushakra presented on the clinical effects of oral ALZ-801 at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference. These findings may show that ALZ-801 is poised to become the first oral agent to potentially slow or even stop and prevent Alzheimer’s in AD patients and healthy individuals at risk for the disease. These findings are exciting and we anticipate it will motivate more people to learn about and participate in research. More volunteers are needed for Alzheimer’s research like this to advance AD diagnostics, prevention, and treatment.

Alzheimer’s Treatment Study

This UC San Diego researchers are seeking participants who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, aged 50-83, who live in the San Diego area. Study participants receive Memantine, an FDA approved medication for Alzheimer’s disease and participants are compensated for their time.

Interested? Fill out this interest survey.

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