Researchers looking for volunteers for aging brain study

Friday, November 12, 2010 - 9:36am

As we get older every year, our brains can show clear signs of aging.  Researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center are studying the cognitive ability of baby boomers in the Shreveport area.

"It's not only a good thing to do for research purposes, but it's a way for people to get something they need done for free," said Dr. Jeffrey Keller, Pennington Biomedical Research Center.  The Louisiana Aging Brain Study hopes to better understand why some people develop Dementia and others do not based on their lifestyles.

The study consists of going in for assessments every year, where researchers will sensitively document how a person changes over time and relate those changes to the person's lifestyle including diet and other risk factors.

The yearly assessments take only about an hour to complete.  Some parts of the tests change from year to year, but basic portions will stay consistent.  Mary Alice Rountree, who underwent the assessments for the first time last week, described the test as consisting of memorizing numbers, repeating facts from a short story and recognizing specific pictures.

The research center affiliated with the Louisiana State University system hopes that Shreveport residents will participate to make the study more accurate overall.  "There are differences throughout the state, so the profile of participants is enriched by having a broader spectrum of folks in Louisiana," Dr. Keller explained.

The assessments take place at 2520 Line Avenue in Shreveport.  A public forum on Dementia research will also take place on December 7 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the conference center at Summer Grove Baptist Church.  This event is free and open to the public.  For more information on the study and the public forum, you can call 1-877-276-8306.


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