Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center recruiting participants for Alzheimer's study

VUMC recruiting participants for early Alzheimer’s study
Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-20 20:00:56-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's a disease that affects millions, yet little is known about it.

"We know that Alzheimer's Disease begins 20 to 25 years in the brain before anyone ever expresses memory loss," said Director of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center Dr. Angela Jefferson.

That's why the center is conducting research looking at early drivers of the disease.

"So, we're interested in finding, basically, what causes the memory loss changes and then using those causes to drill down on prevention techniques or targets," said Jefferson.

Jefferson said participants get feedback about their memory testing results, their heart test results, their blood work, and their physical exam, which can be shared with their doctors if they want.

But, historically, one group is often underrepresented in research. African American older adults are twice as likely as white older adults to have Alzheimer's disease.

Tonya Brown is participating in the study. She knows her family history puts her at risk of developing the disease.

"My mother, she was diagnosed when she was 65, and my father was recently diagnosed," said Brown.

Through it all, she says her faith and her parents are what push her to keep going.

"I think they would be proud of me, making a difference not only for myself but for future generations," said Brown. That's why she hopes her participation in the study may inspire others to do the same.

"Anything that I can provide to help find a cure — I feel that I am making a difference, and those who are watching, you could make a difference too," she said.

If you are interested in participating in the study, you can call 615-875-3175 or join by visiting the VUMC website.