Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and scientists so far have been unable to find a treatment to stop its progression in people who already have some mental decline.

Larry Rebenack, 71, finishes his gene testing procedure Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix. “I have a lot of friends and acquaintances I’ve seen deteriorate,” including one who started blowing through stop signs on a route to a golf course they had safely traveled for years, and another who forgot not only where he had parked his car but even what kind of car it was, Rebenack said. “It’s a disease that takes a little part of you away each day.” (AP Photo/Matt York)

So two large studies are starting much earlier, trying to prevent the disease by targeting the very first brain changes while memory and thinking skills are still intact.

Dr. William Burke goes over a PET brain scan Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix. It may be too late to stop Alzheimer’s in people who already have some mental decline but Banner is conducting two studies that target the very earliest brain changes while memory and thinking skills are still intact in hope of preventing the disease. (AP Photo/Matt York)
A Novartis-labeled box is cataloged prior to testing procedures Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix. Novartis and Amgen are making of two experimental drugs being tested to try to prevent Alzheimers while memory and thinking skills are still intact. (AP Photo/Matt York)

To participate, people must first join GeneMatch, a confidential registry of older people who will be tested to see if they carry a gene that raises their risk for Alzheimer’s.

Principal Scientist Jessica Langbaum discusses GeneMatch, a confidential registry of people interested in volunteering for Alzheimer’s studies who are ages 55 to 75 and have not been diagnosed with any mental decline, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix. More than 70,000 people have signed up since the registry began three years ago, said Langbaum. “Most of them have been touched by the disease personally,” either by having a family member or close friend with it.” (AP Photo/Matt York)

Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix is leading the work, and clinics throughout the United States and some other countries are signing up participants.

Source: The Associated Press

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