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Northern Light Health is launching a statewide study to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The Portland Press Herald reports that the clinical trial — called MAINAH — is open to all adults and seniors in Maine, and the primary research will be done at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor, a unit of the Brewer-based health network.
Dr. Cliff Singer, the geriatric services director at Acadia, told the Press Herald that the trials will encourage participants to exercise, not smoke, improve diets and other habits that research suggests reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
The University of Maine, The Jackson Laboratory and other hospital networks are partnering with Northern Light Health for the study, according to the newspaper.
Initial funding comes from a $25,000 grant from Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, and the project’s directors hope to secure additional funding from the National Institute on Aging, the newspaper reports.
In 2018, about 28,000 Mainers age 65 or older had Alzheimer’s disease and that’s forecast to rise to 35,000 by 2025, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Every year about 544 people die from Alzheimer’s in Maine, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the state, according to the association.