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The Dementia Microbiome Study

Are you or someone you know suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease? We are running a clinical study here at UMass Chan Medical School where we are exploring how the microbes in your gut can affect cognition as well as declines in cognition. This is know as the "microbiota-gut-brain" axis. We are looking for people 60 years or older who have problems with their memory to get involved. 

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What is this study about?

We are investigating the types of bacteria that reside in your gut and what they are doing to affect changes in memory. We believe that this complex bacterial community interacts at the epithelial layer (your gut lining) which affects intestinal barrier integrity, local immune regulation, systemic circulation, neural pathways, and the blood-brain barrier. Imbalance of the intestinal microbiome is believed to contribute to the inflammation seen in the blood. Inflammation is one of the key components of some forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease. By collecting blood and stool samples we are able to investigate this relationship over time.

What happens in this study?

We will have you come into our clinic where we ask about your medical history and do a series of exams that test the function of your memory. We will collect blood and an oral swab in the clinic and send you home with a kit to collect your stool. You can collect your stool at home and mail back to our lab for processing. We will then repeat this every 3 month for upwards of 2 years. 

Do I get compensated for this?

Yes. We will give you a bank card where you will be compensated $40 per visit. Your parking will be validated as well. If you have difficulty getting into our clinic, we have an option to conduct visits remotely. 

What is the main goal of this study?

Our ultimate goal is to identify bacteria and their products that protect against a declining memory and improve inflammation. We will then use this information to develop new drugs to help slow or stop the decline in memory that we see in patients with dementia. 

Who is sponsoring this work?

We are able to do this work thanks to funding from the Alzheimer’s Association and from the National Institute on Aging which is a division of the NIH. 

How do I get involved?

You can reach out to our research team by two ways, phone or email. If you leave us a message we will get back to you within 48 hours. 


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