Investigating lifestyle interventions to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s

The role of lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise and brain training in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease will be the focus of a major new study funded by the Medical Research Future Fund.

 

Professor Ralph Martins, from Edith Cowan University’s School of Medical and Health Sciences, has been awarded $3,115,063 from the Fund’s International Clinical Trials Collaboration scheme to investigate lifestyle interventions that could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

More than 250,000 Australians are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The Australian-multidomain approach to reduce dementia risk by protecting brain health with lifestyle intervention (AU-ARROW) study is the Australian component of a two-year international, randomised, single-blind clinical trial of this multi-modal treatment, and will be strongly aligned with the US-POINTER study.

 

The study will be hosted at ECU and Macquarie University and will involve 600 participants at risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Professor Martins said the study will measure participants’ brain condition through neuroimaging and blood biomarkers to track the effect of multi-modal treatment comprising diet, exercise, cognitive stimulation and vascular risk monitoring.

 

“This will allow us to track the exact impact that improved diet, exercise and cognitive training can have on delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.

 

“Preventative measures to protect brain health are becoming increasingly important with our ageing population and the fast-growing number of older Australians at risk of dementia.”

 

ECU researchers have previously established links between Alzheimer’s disease and trouble sleeping, the stress hormone cortisol and depression.

 

ECU researchers, and the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, are also conducting a clinical study investigating the role of the Testosterone and DHA (Omege 3) on Amyloid Load in the brain (ToTAL) and a clinical trial on imaging the eye using a state-of-the-art hyperspectral retinal imaging camera as a potential early diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

4 October 2019.