Science and Innovation

Research Study Aims to Aid Early Detection, Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

AdventHealth is one of two sites in the U.S. and one of seven in the world to participate in a pilot program.

AdventHealth is launching a groundbreaking international research study through a partnership with the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, an organization leading an unprecedented global response to Alzheimer’s disease. This pilot study uses online digital cognitive assessment tools and a new blood test with the goal of earlier detection of the disease, allowing at-risk patients to begin treatment earlier.

AdventHealth Orlando is one of two sites in the U.S. and one of seven across the globe conducting similar trials, the goal of which is to measurably increase rates of timely and accurate diagnosis. This will put affected people on the correct care pathway and reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on the patient, caregivers, family and loved ones.

"We know the main risk factor in developing dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's disease, is age," said Valeria Baldivieso, MD, a geriatrician who focuses on senior memory care and well-being at AdventHealth and is one of the investigators in the trial. “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. It’s so important to have early detection so we can work with patients to take steps to keep dementia from progressing.”

AdventHealth is one of two sites in the U.S. and one of seven in the world to participate in a pilot program.
Dr. Valeria Baldivieso, a geriatrician whose focus is on senior memory care and well-being, is one of the investigators in the trial.

Steven R. Smith, MD, AdventHealth’s chief scientific officer, said, “We’re excited to bring access to this kind of groundbreaking care and research to our community. The combination of this kind of research and AdventHealth’s world-class brain health physicians aims to improve the lives of people struggling with cognitive issues through early intervention.”

Prior to the public launch, the trial was available through referrals from primary care practitioners.

“We are finding enormous appetite from health care systems around the world to prepare for future Alzheimer’s treatments, but first we must help health care systems adapt to early detection,” said George Vradenburg, founding chairman of the board, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative. “By working directly with medical professionals, researchers, people at risk, and patients, these sites will utilize cutting-edge technology to change the way we deliver care.”

The blood-based biomarker is a technology developed by C2N, St. Louis. The digital cognitive assessment was developed by Cogstate in New Haven, Connecticut.

“We’re proud to be part of this research study with AdventHealth, providing an innovative blood test that enables precise and sensitive measurements to aid in the diagnostic evaluation of changes in thinking or memory,” said Dr. Joel Braunstein, CEO of C₂N Diagnostics, which developed the PrecivityAD test, an innovative blood test intended for use in patients with cognitive impairment. “The PrecivityAD test is simple to administer, does not involve any radiation and is non-invasive. Researchers have found the PrecivityAD test results to be an effective indicator of Alzheimer’s disease pathology among people with early memory changes. Working with AdventHealth, we are looking forward to helping patients better understand their condition and what they can proactively do.

More than 580,000 Floridians over 65 are living with Alzheimer's disease and 806,000 people in the state are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The number of people with Alzheimer’s in Florida is expected to grow to 720,000 by 2025.

Those interested in participating may visit BrainHealthFlorida.com where they will 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 at the Translational Research Institute at AdventHealth Orlando to determine the presence of a specific biomarker that could help identify early Alzheimer’s. To qualify, residents must be 65 years of age or older and have not been diagnosed with dementia.

Research Study Aims to Aid Early Detection, Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

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