May 2021 Newsletter

May 18, 2021
Published By 
Jennifer Vasconcellos
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Music and Memory Study goes virtual

One of the innovations to come from the Covid-19 pandemic was the need for researchers to redesign studies to avoid in-person contact when possible.  Many studies have moved to a virtual format, bringing cutting edge science into participants homes, workplaces, and community centers. The Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is now offering their music and memory study to participants across the nation who have internet access. The study compares different music therapy experiences and their impact on memory and language in patients with Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). To be eligible, participants must:

  • Have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Be age 55 or older
  • Generally in good health
  • English speaking
  • No verbal impairment
  • Community-dwelling
  • Have a study partner who can participate daily, oversee study compliance and attend online study visits
  • Must have webcam or smart phone

If you have individuals in your network that fit this criteria, click here for the study flyer or email us.  or you may contact the Mount Sinai study team directly at (212) 241-8329 or through email at allison.ardolino@mssm.edu or john.mondanaro@mountsinai.org

Race, Ethnicity, and Dementia

Much of the nation's ADRD research has filled by primarily Caucasian volunteers, even though Alzheimer’s and other dementia disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic Americans. This pattern significantly hinders the advancement of appropriate treatments.

The Equity in Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials (ENACT) Act would increase the participation of underrepresented individuals, in Alzheimer’s and other dementia clinical trials by:
 - Expanding the number of ADRCs in areas with higher concentrations of underrepresented populations.
 - Increasing outreach & awareness of clinical trial opportunities to underrepresented communities and primary care physicians.
 - Enhancing the diversity of staff conducting clinical trials.
 - Encouraging community-based engagement strategies to increase clinical trial participation.

Read more about ENACT here.

Recruitment Partners LLC strives to increase diversity inclusion throughout our work.  We support ENACT and legislation like it, as we experience first hand the frustrations potential participants from underrepresented groups and their support organizations experience when systemic barriers make participation difficult or impossible. If you missed it, catch up on our bilingual survey on participation during Covid.


A Mediterranean-like diet for a healthy brain

Individuals who participated in a recent German study who ate a Mediterranean-like diet had lower rates of negative biomarkers. There was also a correlation between a closer adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet and a higher volume of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls memory and shrinks early and severely in Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet may protect the brain from protein deposits and brain atrophy, but how will need to be further studied. Read more here.

Stem cell library

The NIH is planning a genome editing project to investigate the genetic links behind Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, dementia, and ALS. The project will create a "library of stem cells" that researchers anywhere can access, in hopes to accelerate the production of potential therapies for the millions of individuals who suffer from these disease. Read more about the study here.


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