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In the Disney+/National Geographic series Limitless, Chris Hemsworth learns that he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, which increase his likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. Hemsworth has mentioned that his newfound knowledge of his genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's has made him more aware of the importance of taking care of his health. His situation highlights the potential impact of genetic testing on an individual's perception of their own health and the role that such information can play in motivating individuals to take preventive measures to protect their health.
With more than 580,000 Floridians aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer's disease, and 806,000 people acting as caregivers to someone with Alzheimer’s, we understand the need to reduce the impact of this degenerative illness on patients and caregivers.
In response to this growing need, AdventHealth is launching a groundbreaking international research study that’s now available to Central Florida residents through a partnership with the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, an organization leading an unprecedented global response to Alzheimer’s disease.
What is the Study and How Can it Help Alzheimer’s Patients?
The pilot study uses online digital cognitive assessment tools and a new blood test with the goal of detecting Alzheimer’s earlier, which allows at-risk patients to begin treatment sooner.
According to our expert in senior memory care and well-being, board-certified geriatrician Valeria Baldivieso Hurtado, MD, “It’s so important to have early detection so we can work with patients to take steps to keep dementia from progressing. We know the main risk factor in developing dementia, and specifically Alzheimer’s disease, is age. Many people in our older population think that cognitive changes are normal. But there is a difference between what is normal and what might be a sign of something more serious.”
AdventHealth is one of two sites in the U.S. and one of seven in the world to participate in this unique pilot program. Chief scientific officer and senior vice president of AdventHealth, Steven R. Smith, MD, says, “We’re excited to bring access to this kind of groundbreaking care and research to our community. The combination of this kind of research with our world-class brain health physicians aims to improve the lives of people struggling with cognitive issues through early intervention. We already have interventions that can slow the decline, so early detection is increasingly important.”
How Can I Join the Study?
If you’re interested in participating in the study, you can visit BrainHealthFlorida.com. There, you’ll be asked to take a short online cognitive assessment, which uses images of playing cards.
Those who qualify following the online assessment will be scheduled for a blood test to determine the presence of a specific biomarker that could help identify early Alzheimer’s. To qualify, you must be a Florida resident aged 65 years or older and have not been diagnosed with dementia.
The blood test, called the PrecivityAD test, is simple to administer, doesn’t involve any radiation and is non-invasive. Researchers have found the test results to be an effective indicator of Alzheimer’s disease pathology among people with early memory changes.
Paving the Way Toward the Health Care of the Future
At AdventHealth, we’re looking forward to helping patients better understand their condition and what they can proactively do. We’re proud to help pave the way for health care systems around the world through this research study and are excited to see growing interest in the initiative internationally.
Learn more about the study and how you can be involved at BrainHealthFlorida.com.