Are there research studies in Alzheimer’s or dementia being performed locally?

We are fortunate to have the Institute of Dementia Research & Prevention at Pennington Biomedical Research Center right in Baton Rouge.

With more than 20,000 individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease in our community alone, ongoing research studies are critical to an eventual cure and eradication of the disease.

One of the studies at the institute is called the Louisiana Aging Brain Study, and the goal is to enroll individuals over the age of 60 who do not currently show cognitive signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia. For those who choose to participate, objective assessments of cognitive performance are administered on an annual basis, which allows for the early detection of cognitive decline associated with the disease onset. From this longitudinal study, researchers have the opportunity to look at the relationships between cognitive decline and range of risk factors, such as genetics, diet, diabetes, mood, sleep, activity levels, etc.

A second noted study at the institute is the Josephine Lamar Dementia Study, and individuals in this research project have an existing diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia or are under treatment for a memory disorder. Participants in this study are evaluated each year using both subjective and objective measures of the disease progression.

There are other ongoing clinical trials at the institute for individuals with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, which give individuals access to the latest pharmaceutical agents being developed for treatment. This study also looks at the relationships between a variety of risk factors, such as genetics, diet, obesity, sleep, activity levels, and the rate and severity of the disease progression. From these studies, researchers can begin to develop therapeutic strategies for slowing the disease progression. Another objective of the study will be met by establishing a registry of well-categorized subjects for future clinical trials research.

For more information about enrolling in any of these studies, contact the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention at Pennington at (225) 763-2973 or (877) 276-8306, visit idrp.pbrc.edu, or email dementia@pbrc.edu.

Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia disorder? Contact Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, Director of Services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, (225) 334-7494, advice@alzbr.org, or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.