Alzheimer’s research needs volunteers for treatments

Published 8:24 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

DEAR ABBY: After decades of research, I’m thrilled with the recent major progress being made in treatments for people who already have symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. I’m hoping that, one day, we will be able to prevent people from developing memory impairment and dementia.
Brain changes, including the buildup of a toxic protein into amyloid plaques, begin up to 20 years before a person notices any symptoms. This “asymptomatic” stage may be the perfect time to test treatments aiming to delay or prevent symptoms before they begin.
This is why we are conducting the AHEAD Study, an investigational trial of lecanemab, an FDA-approved medication for mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. The AHEAD Study is testing whether starting lecanemab in those with amyloid plaques BEFORE symptoms start can help prevent cognitive decline.
As a neurologist, a clinical researcher and someone who has seen Alzheimer’s in my own family, I’m grateful we are seeing such progress in our field. But, Abby, we need help from your readers to test these promising medications before the devastating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are apparent. Those interested in the AHEAD Study should call 800-243-2370 or visit to help us get ahead of Alzheimer’s. – REISA SPERLING, M.D.

DEAR DR. SPERLING: Thank you for your letter. Readers, more than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Changing the trajectory of the disease before symptoms appear is an important scientific pursuit. Clinical trials hold the key to new and better Alzheimer’s disease treatments.
Approximately 55,000 volunteers are needed for more than 180 clinical trials. In addition to the AHEAD study, the Alzheimer’s Association offers TrialMatch, a free service that connects people living with dementia, caregivers and healthy volunteers to clinical trials. Clinical trial volunteers are key to better treatments, prevention strategies and a future cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Visit or call 800-272-3900 to learn more.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is married with two kids. They live a few hours away. I love seeing them, but I have just one issue. She constantly corrects the way I pronounce words. No one ever mentioned it before she did. A lot of the pronunciations are how my family members and people in my state pronounce them.
She started criticizing me after she lived in three different states. It has reached a point where I dread seeing her. I feel self-conscious, and my self-esteem gets shot down every time I do. When I tell her it hurts me, she says I’m being “too sensitive.” I don’t know what I should do. – HURTING OVER THIS

DEAR HURTING: People who make comments that hurt other people’s feelings and then tell them they are “too sensitive” are rude and passive-aggressive. What you should do is tell your arrogant daughter to knock it off because you have had it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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