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 evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target many risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline. U.S. POINTER is the first such study to be conducted in a large group of Americans across the United States. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both participants and researchers.
Beginning in 2018, 2,000 volunteers 60-79 years of age will be identified through up to five large healthcare networks across the United States. These volunteers will be enrolled and followed for two years. Two lifestyle interventions will be compared, which will vary in their intensity and structure. Eligible volunteers will be randomly assigned to interventions to evaluate these two lifestyle interventions. Local Alzheimer’s Association offices in participating regions and partnerships with community organizations will assist with intervention delivery to set the stage for an accessible and sustainable community-based model for prevention.
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) reported that a two-year combination therapy simultaneously targeting physical exercise, nutritional guidance, 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 FINGERS (WW-FINGERS). WW-FINGERS will align these research efforts focused on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias across the globe.
The Alzheimer's Association is providing funding for U.S. POINTER. Volunteers will be evaluated for changes in cognition every six months using gold-standard cognitive assessment tools. Vascular and metabolic health, physical function, mood and quality of life will also be assessed.
"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