University Of Pittsburgh Selected For Largest Alzheimer’s Study

Pitt’s clinic will be one of 60 across U.S. for ADNI study seeking early detection, cure

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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – The University of Pittsburgh will join the largest Alzheimer's Study in history.

The ADNI Study (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is in its third phase of trials. The clinic at the University of Pittsburgh will be one of 60 across the country.

Study spokesperson Dr. Michael Weiner told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News the university was chosen based on its “fantastic Alzheimer’s program” where the first amyloid scan was developed in 2002 by Drs. Chester Mathis and William E. Klunk, opening the door for Alzheimer’s research through PET scans.

“Our goal is to develop the best diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease and to find a way to detect it in people who have completely no symptoms at all,” Weiner said.  

Weiner says ADNI researchers use PET scans and have even begun using blood tests to try to find the best diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s disease, with the end goal being a cure for the disease.  

“Your average person who’s completely healthy in their middle-70s has a 25 percent chance of having Alzheimer’s disease in their brain even though they have no symptoms,” Weiner said. “Because the disease develops slowly over many years and only at a late stage causes symptoms.”

Anyone over 65 with no serious illness other than Alzheimer’s disease is eligible to join the study.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve been diagnosed by a physician or not,” Weiner said. “If you have any concerns about your memory or problems with brain function this is a way to get evaluated at no cost it’s completely free.”

Anyone interested in participating in the study can learn more by calling 1-888-223-6495 or visiting www.adni3.org.

“It’s a way to give back and to really help science and help humanity,” Weiner said of participating in the study. “Because the only way we’re going to ever find a treatment for Alzheimer’s and prevention for Alzheimer’s is to do research projects like this so we can learn how to diagnose it.”

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