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Syracuse Research Firm To Participate In Nationwide Alzheimer's Study

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A clinical research firm in Syracuse will be part of a nationwide study on Alzheimer’s. The research will be looking at two hallmarks for the disease sometimes seen 15 to 20 years before memory loss occurs: Amyloid Plaque and tau tangles. Director of Research at Clarity Clinical Research Lisa Sonneborn explains how their study is looking to pitch in.

“This study is looking for people with a range of cognitive functioning so all the way from healthy memories to people who have actually been diagnosed with Alzheimers. We’re using these PET scans to identify whether they actually have those hallmarks,” said Sonneborn.

Within 72 hours of opening the study to volunteers, the research center had 300 people looking to join. The overall national study will take in a total of 1,000 patients. With this research on the rise, there is new potential for treatment that goes beyond reactive care. Sonneborn says for Alzheimer’s treatment, prevention will eventually be key.

“The historical treatment of this has basically been this is going to get worse and we don’t have any options for you. It’s kind of like putting out fires along the way. We’re hoping that I can watch breakthroughs for treatments that not only can respond to the earliest signs of memory changes but potentially even prevent those altogether with treatments that are preventative,” said Sonneborn.

In the final group used for the study, at least 20% will be African American, Hispanic, or Latino. Sonneborn says this is because statistically, these groups have a higher likelihood of having Alzheimer’s while historically not being included in research for the disease. More information about the study can be found on the website,

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.