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A new clinical trial headed by scientists from the United States is hoping to find treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that robs people of their memories.

The five-year trial will be conducted on around 300 people in Medellin, Columbia, the second-largest city in the country, and located in the Aburrá Valley in the Andes Mountains.

Family members in this city have a genetic mutation that makes them extremely at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, family members begin to show early signs of Alzheimer’s around the age of 45 years, and have full-blown dementia by the age of 51 years.

The trial will be conducted on these participants before they have any memory problems, with no cognitive ailments -- some as young as 30 years.

The study is led by Dr. Eric M. Reiman, the executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to the May 15, 2012 New York Times article New Drug Trial Seeks to Stop Alzheimer’s Before It Starts, “Some 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and the numbers are expected to swell as the baby boom generation ages."

"Dr. Reiman’s team is planning a similar trial for people in the United States considered at increased risk for conventional late-onset Alzheimer’s. The study announced Tuesday will include a small number of Americans with gene mutations guaranteed to cause early-onset Alzheimer’s.”

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University