Study offers free annual memory checks
Do you forget common words or names? Or are you simply interested in doing your part to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
Either way, you can contribute to scientific research and also get periodic cognitive checks by enrolling in a new long-term study.
Georgetown University’s Memory Disorders Program is conducting a longitudinal study to track changes in cognitive ability over time.
Just a few hours in its memory clinic can make a difference. If you prefer a one-shot deal, you can make just one visit to the Georgetown Medical School campus on Reservoir Road in Northwest Washington, D.C.
Or you can choose to be part of the longitudinal study, which requires one visit every year or two for 10 years.
At each three-hour visit, participants will take a cognitive test and lifestyle survey and have their blood drawn. They may or may not choose to give an optional spinal fluid specimen.
Anyone age 45 or older is eligible to participate in the longitudinal study. Those who are cognitively normal will visit just once every other year. On the “off year,” researchers will call to do a brief cognitive check over the phone.
People who have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or a neurodegenerative disease must visit once a year.
“A lot of people use this study if they are cognitively normal but they have a family history [of dementia] so they want more of a robust memory check,” said Jessica Mallory, clinical trial manager at Georgetown University’s Memory Disorders Program. “We can’t give them a diagnosis based on research testing, but if we noticed that if there was reason for concern, we would refer them to their physician.”
Georgetown has been collecting blood samples for this study for a decade, but last year the Memory Disorders Program staff decided to revamp the data, adding more cognitive testing and the lifestyle survey.
“Exercise, sleep and mood are three things that we are looking closely at,” Mallory said.
The more participants in the study, the better, she said. “We want to be continuously enrolling new people. We hope to get about 50 new participants each year.” Parking validation and free lunch will be provided.
The Georgetown University Memory Disorders Program is located at 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC. For more information or to enroll in the longitudinal study, call Benjamin Edwards at (202) 687-1597 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.