South Louisianians concerned about memory loss might qualify for a national study questioning whether exercise and certain medications can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. 

Researchers at Baton Rouge's Pennington Biomedical Research Center are seeking participants for a National Institutes of Health-funded study that asks whether aerobic exercise and specific blood pressure and cholesterol medications can help preserve brain function.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, and doctors expect that number to rise as the baby-boomer generation ages. 

"Alzheimer’s is a complex disease without a cure or any new treatments," said Dr. Jeff Keller, director of Pennington Biomedical’s Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention. "This research study aims to figure out which combination of medications and lifestyle changes may best help people avoid the disease. We hope the information learned from this study helps us as we work to target therapies for Alzheimer’s prevention."

Pennington is one of six institutions to take part in the Risk Reduction for Alzheimer's disease study, which is building upon prior research that links healthy lifestyles to better brain function, according to a Pennington news release.

Participants should:

  • Be between the ages of 60 and 85
  • Have concerns about memory loss or have an immediate relative with a dementia diagnosis
  • Have high blood pressure or be on medication for high blood pressure
  • Have a primary care physician 

To participate in the study or other brain and aging-related studies, call (225) 763-2973 or email dementia@pbrc.edu.

Follow Kyle Peveto on Twitter, @kylepeveto.