June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. At a research symposium earlier this year, the Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association discussed the state of research.
One project discussed was the US POINTER study, which is set to be completed in 2023.
The study will test the role of lifestyle changes in Alzheimer’s disease, specifically a combination of diet, physical activity, social activity and cognitive exercises. The study is based on a similar study done in Finland, that showed benefits in thinking and memory among participants who followed a specific set of behaviors. The US version is being specifically adapted to America’s diverse population.
Doctor Carl Hill, vice president of science engagement with the organization, noted that African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“What are those factors that hang together to create and sustain disparities and Alzheimer's and other dementia?” Hill asked. “We know that that culture impacts lifestyle and environment impacts lifestyle, so those are important to consider.”
Both Illinois locations for the POINTER study are in Chicago, and the study has been paused due to concerns about COVID-19.