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Participants Sought for Study Seeking Biological Markers for Those at Risk for (Or Diagnosed With) Alzheimer's Disease

  [ 92 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • July 8, 2004

Memory Complaints? We are looking for people between the ages of 40 and 90 who have been diagnosed either with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We, at NYU School of Medicine’s Center for Brain Health, are conducting a study designed to identify biological markers for individuals who may be at risk for AD or currently have AD.

Two abnormal lesions in the brain are the hallmarks of AD: Plaques and tangles. Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) and tau are normal brain proteins that change in type and concentration in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, forming plaques and tangles, which are believed to damage and shrink neurons (brain cells). Memory function is impaired when plaques and tangles form in the memory centers of the brain.

The proteins can be studied in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF is a clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Studying CSF provides scientists with a “biochemical window” into the brain, because the abnormal breakdown products of APP and tau can be measured in this fluid. By studying these abnormal breakdown products in specialty laboratories, scientists can learn more about AD.

In addition, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) will be used to examine structural aspects of the brain. We are looking at these two measures, CSF and MRI, in combination with performance on memory tests to develop a screening tool for early AD. Your participation and the knowledge gained from this study will assist in the development of this screen. If you would like more information about how to help, please e-mail the study coordinator at

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