Studying connection between Alzheimer’s Disease and coronavirus

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(Photo supplied/Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–The connection between Alzheimer’s Disease and coronavirus is apparent, but not yet understood said a doctor who is helping lead a study to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Indiana University is one of the testing sites for that study.

“This is a dosease, which we see from COVID, how vulnerable people with Alzheimer’s Disease are to communicable diseases,” said Dr. Jeffrey L. Cummings, Research Professor, Department of Brain Health at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

“For reasons that are still to be determined we see that almost a third of all the deaths from COVID are nursing home residents and most of those residents have Alzheimer’s Disease,” he said. “So, there is some vulnerable link between Alzheimer’s Disease and COVID that we have yet to fully understand. But, what we see is the tremendous vulnerability that Alzheimer’s Disease has when it comes to COVID.”

He said that’s why it’s more important now to find a cure. So, Cummings is inviting people to participate in the Alzheimer’s Prevention Trials Webstudy.

“They take some memory tests and it’s kind of fun. It’s like card sorting tests, and they rate their own memory. We do that every three months for the rest of their lives.”

The intent is to detect when there’s a slight change in a person’s memory. Cummings said having tens of thousands of people participate will give them a lot of information and will also help people who are in the early stages.

“By being able to detect people who are in the earliest stages we can refer them to local universities that serve as clinical trial sites and they’re told about clinical trials,” said Cummings. He said the goal at that stage is to find medicines within the trials that could slow the disease down or cure it.

IU is one of the sites.

“They have a very active research group there. They’re part of the national infrastructure of Alzheimer’s Disease clinical trial sites,” he said. “They are fantastic leaders in many aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease research.”

If you’d like to sign up to participate, you must be a healthy adult over 50. You can sign up at www.aptwebstudy.org.

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