Michigan State University a Hub of Alzheimer’s Research in Western Michigan with Influence Beyond

Michigan State University a Hub of Alzheimer’s Research in Western Michigan with Influence Beyond

A Michigan State University (MSU) is researching a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Located at the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center, the Alzheimer’s Alliance conducts a series of clinical trials, connecting people who have the disease with researchers trying to stop it. This group offers valuable services in Michigan—a clearinghouse for research studies and information about the disease not to mention free memory screenings.

Who is the Michigan State University Alzheimer’s Alliance?

The MSU Alzheimer’s Alliance was developed by the MSU faculty in their united interest and pursuit in Alzheimer’s research leading to the prevention, treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

A designed Center in the College of Human Medicine at MSU, it was built upon MSU faculty united by their interests in Alzheimer’s disease research. They bring together laboratory and clinical researchers from throughout the West Michigan region to boost overall research activity and bring interventional clinical trials to the region.

This alliance brings together practitioners from local health systems and non-profit organizations for a united front in the region—identifying and pursing innovative means of improving diagnosis, treatment and care of individuals living with dementia. Current activities include 1) facilitation of interventional clinical trials to prevent or treat dementia, 2) low barrier of entry memory screening for community residents, 3) supporting the healthcare community with educational programs about dementia, and 4) the development of a Center for Aging Brain C.A.R.E (Clinical Assessment, Research and Education) containing a broad range of services for those living with dementia and their families.

A Catalyst

As showcases by WoodTV, Alzheimer’s Alliance David Morgan noted that just a couple years ago there was little to no access to clinical trials in the region.  He and others at MSU started up the group to change this.

MSU Alzheimer’s Alliance Sponsored PACT Trial

Currently the group is signing up patients for the free PACT Trial—Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training. In this study MSU along with University of South Florida-based researchers have participants play games to assess their cognitive abilities. They will extend the study check in for three years so they can determine if anything has changed. If they notice material cognitive decline, they will seek to analyze and diagnose exactly what occurred.

Morgan seeks to connect research with actual care opportunity noting, “The study will almost always benefit the individuals who participate. They will get state-of-the-art medical care, including something we call a PET scan. It lets us see if there is material building up in your brain called amyloid. We think that this is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Before that, we had to just look through the microscope if we were to ultimately be able to tell you if you had Alzheimer’s disease.”

Lead Contact

David Morgan, PhD, Director of the Alzheimer’s Alliance and MSU Foundation Professor of Translational Neuroscience, Michigan State University

Call to Action: Do you or a loved one have an Alzheimer’s disease (or other dementia) based diagnosis and live in Western Michigan? If so, consider visiting the Alzheimer’s Alliance within MSUit appears to be a fantastic community resource.  See David Morgan’s contact information