The University of California, San Diego, Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Center is launching a $22 million study to determine whether medical intervention in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), characterized primarily by memory problems, can help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The Memory Impairment Study, the most scientifically ambitious Alzheimer's study of its type, involves 60 to 80 sites across the United States and Canada.

According to research, individuals with MCI appear to be at increased risk and develop Alzheimer's disease at a rate of 12 to 15 percent per year. "This study seeks to determine whether the progression of Alzheimer's disease can be delayed in people at risk for the disease," says Leon Thal of the Study Center. The project seeks to recruit approximately 720 men and women, aged 55 to 90, with an obvious memory problem, but no other cognitive impairment, and who are willing to remain in the study for three years. This study will evaluate the usefulness of an investigational agent approved by the FDA for another use, and vitamin E in the treatment of memory loss. Individuals living in the San Diego area who are interested in volunteering for the study should call the UCSD Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at (619) 622-5800, or toll-free at 1-888-455-0655 for more information.—June Kinoshita

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