SEATTLE— The National Institute on Aging recently awarded the Group Health–University of Washington (UW) Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study a grant of nearly $13 million to continue its work for the next five years through April 2020.
One of the longest-running studies of its kind, the ACT study has been thoroughly tracking what happens with a cohort of randomly selected Group Health patients older than 65 as they lead their lives. The study has become a “living laboratory” to understand the aging process—particularly in the brain—and to identify risk factors for conditions including dementia.
The study is led by Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, and Paul K. Crane, MD, MPH, as multi-principal investigators. Dr. Larson is vice president for research at Group Health, executive director of Group Health Research Institute (GHRI), and a clinical professor of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and of health services at the UW School of Public Health. He began the study as the Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Registry, a registry for Alzheimer’s disease, in 1986. Dr. Crane is a UW School of Medicine professor of medicine and adjunct professor of health services and a GHRI affiliate investigator.
For the next five years, the ACT study will focus on several areas, including these three:
The participants’ completeness of follow-up is more than 97 percent, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers and their families. Some have been with the ACT study since 1994, when the cohort formed. “We’re grateful for their efforts and the exquisite information about the history of their lives that contributes to all we’re learning about aging and the brain,” Dr. Larson said. “We couldn’t do any of this work without the dedication of our wonderful participants and staff.”
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