The Alzheimer's Association U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER) is a two-year clinical trial to test whether lifestyle intervention focused on combining physical activity, healthy nutrition, social and intellectual challenge and improved self-management of medical conditions can protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline. U.S. POINTER is the first study to examine this combined intervention in a large-scale U.S.-based population. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both participants and researchers.
Beginning in 2018, 2,500 study participants 60-79 years of age will be identified using a medical record search at participating institutions to find those with medical conditions that have been linked to an increased risk for dementia (e.g., hypertension and other cardiovascular events, elevated blood sugar), and these identified individuals will be invited to take part in this study. Local Alzheimer’s Association offices in participating regions will assist with intervention delivery, and partnerships will be developed with community organizations to deliver the exercise, nutrition, cognitive and social stimulation, and medical monitoring components of the intervention. The success of the intervention will be evaluated based on two-year change in a global measure of cognitive function focused on short-term memory, attention and concentration.
Email us at POINTERinfo@alz.org to receive answers to your questions/inquiries regarding U.S. POINTER.
Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. With the aging of the global population – and the slow progress of developing and testing drug treatments – prevention is pivotal in managing the inexorable rise in global cases of Alzheimer's and other dementias.
In 2014, a large-scale two-year study inFinlandin healthy older adults at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia (the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability, or FINGER Study) found that a two-year combination therapy involving physical exercise, nutrition, cognitive stimulation, and self-monitoring of heart health risk factors had a protective effect on cognitive function. FINGER and U.S. POINTER join other similar efforts around the globe in a worldwide consortium, World Wide FINGER (WW-FINGERS). WW-FINGERS will align these research efforts across the globe focused on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
The Alzheimer's Association is providing $20 million to fund U.S. POINTER. Participants will be evaluated for changes in cognition every six months and at the conclusion of the two-year trial using gold-standard cognitive assessment tools to determine the effectiveness of the interventions. In addition, researchers will also examine the effect of interventions on other outcomes in the study, such as vascular and metabolic health, physical function, mood and general measures of quality of life.
"We must test all options to treat and prevent this horrible disease. We must find the answers for the millions dying with Alzheimer's and their families, and the tens of millions more who will become affected if we do not act now. The Alzheimer's Association is extremely proud to launch this clinical trial with our scientific partners."
Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association Chief Science Officer