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Posted: November 01, 2012

UNTHSC and TARCC are working to improve early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease

The UNT Health Science Center is one of five partners in the Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Consortium (TARCC), which also includes the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and UT Southwestern Medical Center. TARCC is working to improve early diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Last year, TARCC researchers, led by Sid O'Bryant, PhD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, announced progress on a blood test for Alzheimer's disease that is highly accurate for diagnosis. The blood test, which measures concentrations of key blood proteins, is not available to the public yet but is being studied to perfect it.

To continue this work, O'Bryant and his research team at UNTHSC received a National Institutes of Health grant exceeding $600,000 for the next two years. This project - a collaboration with TARCC, UT Southwestern, and international colleagues - will be the first to compare a blood-based screen against autopsy findings. The potential is great that one day a highly accurate blood test will give an easy and inexpensive way to determine who has Alzheimer's. This work will also facilitate new clinical trials aimed at treating as well as preventing the disease. The data and biological samples gathered by the consortium are a key resource for several research projects in Fort Worth and across the state.

Research within the Health Science Center's Institute for Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research (IAADR) and TCOM Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics is focused on early detection of Alzheimer's, estrogen's role in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, stroke therapy and identification of oxidation processes to measure brain aging, as well as cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease among the Hispanic community.

The Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Consortium and Dr. O'Bryant's NIH grant were also recently featured in D Healthcare Daily

If you are with the media and need additional information or would like to arrange an interview,
please contact Jeff Carlton, Director of Media Relations, at 817-735-7630.


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