08:41am Sunday 17 December 2017

U-M study will test for Alzheimer's risk

U-M study will test for Alzheimer's risk. Image courtesy of sxc.hu user macanudo

Researchers hope to learn how people with mild cognitive impairment and their caregivers respond to health education and genetic testing, says Scott Roberts, associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M School of Public Health.

Roberts and colleagues will look specifically at how the information impacts the participants’ psychological adjustment and any behavior changes, and evaluate how well the participants understand the study genetic testing and Alzheimer’s risk assessment materials.

Mild cognitive impairment is a common condition where those affected have noticeable memory and thinking problems but can still carry out their usual activities. People with mild cognitive impairment are at elevated risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease within five years, so it’s important to evaluate the different methods of providing risk information for Alzheimer’s, including genetic testing, to those individuals and their loved ones, Roberts says. After receiving their risk estimate, participants will be followed for a period of 12 months.

The study, called the Risk Evaluation and Education for Alzheimer’s Disease, is a multi-centered research project funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Study participants will have the opportunity to learn what it means to have mild cognitive impairment, what their chances are of developing Alzheimer’s, and how to cope with problems related to memory loss.

Study investigators hope to enroll individuals aged 55 to 90 who have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and have a study partner willing to participate with them. Recruitment will continue through spring 2012. For those interested in enrolling in the study, contact Lan Le at (734) 615-2422 or revealstudy@umich.edu.

Faculty from the U-M Health system include Wendy Uhlmann, assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics, and Dr Nan Barbas of Neurology. Researchers have also worked with the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, based at the U-M Health System.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has been promoting health and preventing disease since 1941, and is ranked among the top five public health schools in the nation. Whether making new discoveries in the lab or researching and educating in the field, our faculty, students, and alumni are deployed around the globe to promote and protect our health. http://www.sph.umich.edu/

Written by Laura Bailey

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