He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.- Genesis 2:24
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:24
WHAT?!?! Content on Wednesdays??? (Note: Old timers know I used to do this every weekday before wearing down…go back and read the oldies…they are all there for your perusing. 🙂 )
Indeed I am here. I have decided to start moving back toward daily content. Our audience has grown (8,300+ lots on social media) and I really don’t NEED sleep do I? (Note: Yes, I do. Sleep is part of the dementia prevention foundation, along with exercise and a balanced diet like the MIND Diet/Mediterranean Diets…or, in my case, WW.) For now my plan is to do my traditional, long-form pieces Mondays and Fridays and bring a little wedge of cornbread on Wednesdays with a specific intent: Highlighting something that all of us can do. Each week, you may find this Wednesday a bull’s eye or you may not….but it will cover a range of dementia help options, so please at least take a glance at it in your busy schedule. 🙂 I shall call it “Who, What, Where, Why, When-sday” because most of you I suspect, like me, want ways to help and are willing to try to work it out…you just need the deets. (Apparently Deets is an outdated term for “details” or gossip…and its use proves, yet again, that I am super uncool.)
The Deets: I have talked about the Alzheimer’s Association Trial Match program many times at the cornbread table. Here is just one of those times. It is amazing. I have participated, in small or medium ways, in several clinical trials and I have a biggie coming soon: (See this link for that one). Please hop on Trial Match and look around. Most opportunities are painless and require mostly answers to questions or wisdom.
This Wednesday I have a specific study to point some of you to: U.S. Pointer (U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk) . The Alzheimer’s Association funds countless school/research hospital/private clinical trials through its fundraising efforts…but this one is a study more closely funded/ran BY the association. Here is a summary video.
- People between the ages of 60 and 79
- People who are not regular exercisers (generally less than 3 times per week)
- People who may have other risks for memory loss in the future such as family history of memory problems or slightly high blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar.
- Live within an area where the study is being conducted
- Additional criteria evaluated at screening
“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.“
There are also “add-on” studies to this program as listed here:
- The U.S. POINTER Neuroimaging Ancillary Study (University of California, Berkeley) Description: “the first large-scale investigation of how lifestyle interventions – including exercise, diet, cognitive stimulation and health coaching – affect biological markers of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the brain.”
- The U.S. POINTER-zzz Sleep Study (Multiple locations listed above) Description: “an unprecedented opportunity to test whether lifestyle changes can improve sleep using a simple test that is completed at home. The test involves wearing a watch-like device for one or more days and nights to measure sleep apnea, restlessness and other sleep disruptions. The results of POINTER-zzz could provide important new information about how to treat sleep disturbances, which could slow or prevent cognitive decline. Only those enrolled in the U.S. POINTER study are eligible to be included in the POINTER-zzz sub-study.
- The POINTER-Microbiome Study (Multiple locations) Description: “The microorganisms in your gut help your body digest food. These microorganisms can send signals to your brain using different chemicals, and your brain sends signals back to your gut. Many of the microorganisms in the gut are helpful for normal body function, while others can be harmful. This sub-study will help us learn how the POINTER lifestyle intervention affects the gut microbiome and how these changes might influence the health of the mind. Participating in this sub-study will help us learn whether a healthy lifestyle improves the bacteria in your gut and how these changes might help to protect your brain. Only those enrolled in the U.S. POINTER study are eligible to be included in the ancillary study.”
- The U.S. POINTER NeuroVascular Study: POINTER-NV (Multiple locations) Description: “Participating in U.S. POINTER will tell us whether lifestyle changes can protect memory. Participating in POINTER-NV will provide important information about how changes in blood flow and blood vessel health with a lifestyle intervention affect brain health.”
This is a somewhat limiting factor for many. These are the primary locations:
- Wake Forest School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, NC)
- UC Davis School of Medicine (Sacramento, Ca)
- Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, Il)
- Advocate Health Care (Chicago, Il)
- Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Tx)
- Butler Hospital (Providence, RI)
Check with their contact information for other options that may arise…
Oops…what I meant to say for Why is:
Until a cure is found, our biggest opportunity and best (earthly) hope is in prevention. At least a third of cases of dementia are preventable! I acknowledge that this isn’t as simple as taking a little pill or getting a shot that fixes this mess and I am probably more keenly aware that it is too late for my mom (and MILLIONS more) to prevent this disease. I get it. However, there are, according to the most recent Alz.org Facts and Figures report, over 5 million suffering in the US right now and nearly 14 million expected by 2050, preventing a third would mean MILLIONS(!!!!!) of folks won’t go through what mom and the Sweet 17 are right now. She would approve of this advocacy and I do too… While this study will certainly help with prediction and will gather desperately needed data that will help find a cure, it will go a long way toward improving our prevention details. Empowering millions early in this way would be huge!
When?: Now. When-sday is as good a day as any. 🙂
The great news that the pandemic is slowly tapering off and with carefully-directed CDC guidance, this study is moving forward. To find out more information, contact these fine folks thusly:
Here are some more links to review for self-study:
My closing thoughts: The lineup of experts is very impressive and the facilities involved are exceptional as well. This prevention piece is critical even though knowledge, in this case, is only half of the battle. People know obesity can lead to diabetes and heart disease. They are keenly aware cigarette smoking can cause lung cancer. Yet…people still make poor choices. Let me backtrack…WE make these poor lifestyle choices. Regardless, there are so many important potential outcomes of this study, if you are able to participate, I feel like this study is incredible. 🙂
If you have studies, trials, ideas, and the like, you would like considered for Wednesdays, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have a cure or prevention idea, I will take you seriously and will treat you respectfully although you should know that I will research deeply real research on supposed cures/treatments. Remember, there are ZERO cures nor life-extending treatments available today. Zero. No supplements. No magic shots. No super secret, ground floor opportunities. None. If there was one, do you think that I would have given it to my mom by now? I am willing to run 35+ miles as a newly less heavy computer nerd, wouldn’t I drive the short trip to administer this to mom? Yes…I would. BUT, I am open to anything. Her time left is very limited.
If we are ever going to realize the goal…the mission of seeing a world without dementia, we need more studies like this one.