Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders will now enter its second phase of research in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) groundbreaking study. Out of 55 sites throughout the U.S. and Canada, The Wien Center is one of only three sites in Florida – and the only center in Miami-Dade and Broward counties – to be selected to enter the second phase of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a study that seeks to define changes that may take place in the brains of older people many years before overt symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear.
“The ADNI-2 study will build upon the successes of our ongoing ADNI -1 study to identify the signs of Alzheimer’s disease on brain scans, in spinal fluid and blood and in psychological tests, well before symptoms appear,” said Dr. Ranjan Duara, Medical Director for the Mount Sinai Wien Center. “Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are likely to be far more successful when begun very early in the disease course, well before the onset of symptoms. The goal of the ADNI study is to identify these very early (presymptomatic) features of Alzheimer’s and distinguish them from normal aging.”
The first phase of the ADNI study has already resulted in new findings about how proteins in the brain and spinal fluid in addition to changes in the structure of the hippocampus, a brain area important to learning and memory, may help detect Alzheimer’s well before psychological tests show any impairment. These tests, alone or in combination, also seem to predict the risk for decline in memory and other mental functions among normal elderly individuals and those with very mild memory loss.
“Thus far, the first phase of the ADNI study has told us a great deal about how early, and in what sequence, various tests for Alzheimer’s disease show abnormalities. The next phase, ADNI-2, should provide much more specific information regarding the distinction between normal aging and the very early stages of Alzheimer’s. This information will guide us about when treatments for Alzheimer’s disease should begin,” said Dr. Duara.
The Wien Center is currently seeking individuals 50 years of age and older, with and without memory-related symptoms, to join those already participating in the study as it enters its second phase. The study will use imaging techniques and biomarker measures in blood and cerebrospinal fluid specially developed to track changes in the living brain for the next five years. All tests related to the study are performed free of charge.
Those most likely to benefit from participation in the ADNI-2 study are those with a family history of Alzheimer’s, although it’s not a pre-requisite for participation. Having a memory screening test can help determine if participation is right for you. The Wien Center offers free memory screenings for anyone over the age of 50 at two convenient locations – Mount Sinai Medical Center’s main campus in Miami Beach, located at 4300 Alton Road, and The Mount Sinai Aventura freestanding emergency room, located at 2845 Aventura Boulevard. Memory screenings are noninvasive, consist of a written test and are available in both English and Spanish.
Anyone interested in learning more information about participating in the ADNI-2 study or scheduling a free memory screening should contact Joscelyn Agron at 305-674-2186, ext. 3, or visit msmc.com.