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Genes, Exercise, Memory and Neurodegeneration Clinical Trial

Posted Dec 02 2009 8:28am

Preservation of intellectual dexterity among those showing earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may ameliorate the physical, emotional, and economic burden associated with the disease.

Right now, this clinical trial is limited to Philadelphia and the Washington, DC area. Howard University and Temple University. It also limited to African Americans with mild Alzheimer's disease.

If you live nearby, I would encourage you to investigate the possibility of participation.

This part of the description caught my attention (full description below).
Preservation of intellectual dexterity among those showing earliest symptoms of AD may ameliorate the physical, emotional, and economic burden associated with the disease, and that, is an important public health goal. A promising evidence-based and relatively side-effect free lifestyle approach is emerging as an alternative or adjunct to anticholinesterase therapy. Specifically, aerobic exercise-training has been demonstrated to improve cognitive function.
Many of you know, it is my belief that exercise makes a major difference in the behavior of my mother. This study might also help explain why my mother has declined more slowly than might have been anticipated.

I write often about how exercise and socialization transforms my mother into a completely different person. It clearly effects her cognitive function in a very positive way -- a phenomena that is instantaneous in her case.
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Purpose

The primary purpose of this pilot study is to determine whether African Americans (AA) with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be enrolled and retained in a 6-month aerobic exercise-training study.

Detailed Description

Although anticholinesterase therapies have greatly improved symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, they have not been demonstrated to significantly slow disease progression.

Excess morbidity and mortality from AD continue to generate an enormous economic burden on families and on the United States.

Preservation of intellectual dexterity among those showing earliest symptoms of AD may ameliorate the physical, emotional, and economic burden associated with the disease, and that, is an important public health goal.

A promising evidence-based and relatively side-effect free lifestyle approach is emerging as an alternative or adjunct to anticholinesterase therapy.

Specifically, aerobic exercise-training has been demonstrated to improve cognitive function.

Though, the effect size for these studies is surprisingly large, and the results fairly consistent, however, the sample sizes were small and included mostly Caucasians.

Importantly, the mechanism by which an effect occurs is yet to be systematically substantiated.

Remarkably, aerobic fitness can improve many of the putative AD risk factors such as high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), inflammation, and arteriolosclerosis.

However, improvements in these putative risk factors have not been explored as potential mechanisms by which aerobic training improves cognitive function in humans.

Given that AAs: i) have higher incidence and prevalence of AD than Caucasians, ii) have paucity of cross-sectional, and lack prospective data on the beneficial effect of exercise on cognitive function; iii) are more sedentary relative to Caucasians, in whom data show the beneficial effect of exercise, and therefore have room for exercise-induced improvements in risk; a randomized controlled trial of exercise and cognition in older AAs is imperative.

This study will examine the effects of aerobic exercise-training on neurocognitive function, and on cerebral glucose homeostasis.

It is yet to be determined whether AAs with mild AD can be recruited into such a study, nor has the relationship of fitness adaptation to neurocognitive function been systematically examined in this population. In addition to the goal of assessing the intervention effects, the study will evaluate the differential relationships of APOE to aerobic fitness-induced changes in neurocognition.

The long-term goal is to explore the mechanism by which fitness adaptation exerts an effect on neurocognition -- Notably, low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), elevated inflammation (C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukins (IL-1A)), deranged glucose homeostasis, hypertension and endothelia dysfunction are precursors of arteriolosclerosis, decreased cerebral perfusion and oxygen deprivation, all of which may increase AD risk.

Because many of these putative AD risk factors are susceptible to lifestyle alterations, the study will also assess their roles in aerobic fitness-related improvements in cognitive function and reduction in AD risk.

Go here to get all the criteria for this clinical trial and the contact information.

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier -- NCT01021644

Sponsor -- National Institute on Aging (NIA)

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for news, advice, and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob has written more than 950 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room
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