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Emory investigating genetics of early Alzheimer's disease

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Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine are recruiting participants for a study investigating the genetic risk for developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) an early precursor of Alzheimer's disease. The TOMMORROW study, conducted by the Emory University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), is also seeking to learn whether an investigational medication might prove effective in delaying the early symptoms of this condition.

Mild cognitive impairment refers to the early phase of Alzheimer's disease in which an otherwise healthy-minded person experiences a gradual, progressive decline in memory and thinking ability. Researchers are hopeful that by studying healthy individuals they can getter a better understanding of who is at risk and how best to delay or prevent the onset of symptoms.

"The TOMMORROW study is one of the first key efforts to develop a prevention for Alzheimer's disease," says Allan Levey, MD, PhD, director of Emory's ADRC and Betty Gage Holland chair of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. "We now understand that Alzheimer's disease begins silently, years before any symptoms of memory loss become evident, with the clear implication that our greatest chance to make a difference will be to start treatments as early as possible, before symptom onset and brain degeneration. Preventing the disease from ever occurring is much more preferable than treating it once it has started."

The double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial is currently recruiting healthy senior participants between the ages of 65 and 83 with no history or diagnosis of cognitive impairment, dementia or other neurologic/psychiatric disorders.  Participants are required to have a project partner (spouse, companion, close friend or adult family member) take part in the study with them. The project partner will participate in an initial onsite visit and then will follow up by phone every six months. For more information about the study or to find out if you are eligible to participate, go to or contact the ADRC at (404) 712-6807. 

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