GREENSBORO, N.C. – There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but what if there were a way to delay it?
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of Kinesiology is recruiting participants for its Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s Disease 2 study (PAAD2).
This study is a more comprehensive follow-up to the department’s previous PAAD study – hence the number two in the acronym.
“If we can delay Alzheimer’s by as little as five years, then we dramatically decrease the prevalence and incidents of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Jenny Etnier, PAAD2 principal investigator and professor in the Department of Kinesiology.
The clinical trial would investigate the impact of a one-year physical activity intervention for people who have a family history of Alzheimer’s.
“What we’re really interested in is recruiting people who are not that active and we firmly believe that starting a physical activity program can yield benefits for them,” Etnier said.
“We know that physical activity helps everybody, we know that it helps cognition for kids, young adults, and older adults, so now we’re looking at this population.”
Once eligibility is determined, testing involves measuring thinking abilities, biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease through a blood sample, current fitness level and brain function through an MRI scan.
Participants will then be randomly assigned to either a free one-year exercise intervention at a local YMCA or to a control group.
People in the control group would be asked to maintain their normal lifestyle for one year; however, following that, they would receive a free short-term YMCA membership at a facility that is close to them.
Etnier says the hope is that the study will provide more information that can possibly give people some protection and ultimately additional years of a high quality of life.
For information on eligibility and how to participate, visit the study’s information page, or call (336) 334-4765.