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Health Check: Clinical trial aims to prevent Alzheimer's disease

What if you could prevent Alzheimer's disease? (WJAR)

What if you could prevent Alzheimer's disease?

There are new clinical trials aimed at doing just that in people who are at high risk for the memory-robbing disease.

Nancy Roderick is taking part in the newest trial of a vaccine to help prevent Alzheimer’s.

Her mother is currently battling the disease, so Roderick was tested to see if she was at high risk for developing it, as well.

She is.

“This is a genetic test that is done by a cheek swab,” Dr. Stephen Salloway of Butler Hospital’s Memory and Aging Program said. “It's a very simple test and they find out whether they're lower risk, medium risk or higher risk.

Roderick, with the support of her husband, Ed, is taking part in a prevention trial.

“We both believe that anything we can do that can help our children and our grandchildren to find if there are ways to stop the progression of this disease or to halt it completely,” said Ed. “Whatever we can do to make it better.”

“The strategy with this particular intervention is this is a vaccine against amyloid protein, which builds up early in Alzheimer's Disease and we're hoping that we can reduce the amyloid, prevent the build-up, (and) prevent other proteins from building up in the brain and delay or prevent memory loss,” said Salloway.

The prevention trial is for healthy men and women between the ages of 60 and 75 who are at higher risk for the disease but with normal memory.

"This is a double blind study,” said Salloway. “She has a two out of three chance of getting the active medicine."

Roderick will receive this vaccine every 13 weeks and be followed for at least five years.

She said she’s excited to be a part of this important research on many levels.

“I'm doing this for our family (and) for other families that are out there because it is scary and it’s the most awful journey to take through a loved one with,” Roderick said.

If you're between the ages of 55 and 85, you're encouraged to join the Butler Alzheimer's Prevention Registry. You don't have to have any memory problems to join and you'll be kept up to date on all latest research.

Click here to learn more.

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