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Half a million people around the world have visited HealthyBrains.org, a website and app developed by Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Of these, 17,600 have joined the site to receive regular strategies and tips for maintaining their brain health, with more than 10,700 indicating an interest in participating in research.
“Many people are afraid of developing dementia, but the good news is that there are well-established lifestyle changes people can make now to help reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other diseases that cause dementia,” says Kat Hartley, Project Manager for HealthyBrains.org. “Our app and website are simple, fun and provide personalized feedback about improving brain health.”
A Tool for Better Health
One of the first people to join the site was Bruce Bommarito, Vice President of International Marketing at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, which provided the funding to start HealthyBrains.org.
“It made sense to me that a healthy lifestyle can help prevent dementia. I have seven-year-old twins and plan to live a long life,” he says.
Over the past three years, Bommarito has followed the site’s recommendations and is exercising more, eating a healthier diet, getting more sleep and practicing meditation.
“I feel significantly healthier than when I started,” he says.
Bommarito has done more than focus on his own health – he has been a HealthyBrains.org volunteer, recruiting Caesars employees and family members to join the site. Perhaps most importantly, he joined a clinical trial investigating the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. HealthyBrains.org makes it easy for subscribers to learn about Alzheimer’s disease research studies.
Needed Now: Clinical Trial Participants
With the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease expected to quadruple by the year 2050, the quest to find more effective treatments has become an urgent public health objective. Sadly, many Alzheimer’s disease trials fail to recruit enough participants to complete the study.
“The only path to more effective treatment is the clinical trial process. We need to use every means available to find the thousands of people needed to participate in clinical trials,” says Aaron Ritter, MD, Director, Clinical Trials Program, at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “My experience with HealthyBrains.org is that it has been a very effective means of getting people engaged and excited about participating in Alzheimer’s disease research.”
Being part of a trial may benefit participants, said Hartley. “We don’t know when there will be a cure or treatment to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but we do know that the first person to experience it will be a clinical trial participant.”
Bommarito appreciates the trial’s thorough screening process. “It’s been the most impressive experience I’ve had in the medical system. Everyone is extremely professional, knowledgeable and nice. I’d do another trial in a minute,” he says.
The HealthyBrains team has interacted with more than 500 individuals who showed interest in participating in clinical trials while registering with HealthyBrains.org. To find out how you or a loved one can join our group of “citizen scientists” and participate in our research, contact the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855.LOU.RUVO or visit HealthyBrains.org today.
Photo: Caesar’s Jan Jones with Dr. Jeffrey Cummings; Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
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