December 2016, Healthy Life

LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center aims to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia

by Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Dr. Jeff Keller (left) talks about Alzheimer’s and dementia research with Rob Brouillette.
Dr. Jeff Keller (left) talks about Alzheimer’s and dementia research with Rob Brouillette.

Currently, there are no treatments or disease-modifying medications on the market to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention (IDRP) at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center is working to change that. Home to cutting-edge brain research, Pennington Biomedical’s IDRP is working to find ways to treat and manage Alzheimer’s disease. The newest mission of the IDRP? Scientists hope to find a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia from occurring, but they need the community’s help.

By 2050, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease in America will have ballooned from 5 million to as many as 16 million, at a cost of $1.1 trillion annually.

“Enrolling in a research study – even if you have no signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia – is the best way you can help us in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Jeff Keller, director of Pennington Biomedical’s IDRP.

“Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Right now more than 5 million people in our country are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is only expected to grow. By 2050, the cost of Alzheimer’s and other dementias could rise to as much as $1 trillion, so the need is urgent for people to join us in the fight against these chronic diseases,” Keller said.

In addition to their studies for people who already have a dementia diagnosis, Pennington Biomedical is looking for people with normal brain function who are concerned about their memory. The hope is that by learning more about the brain as it ages, researchers will be able to better understand what triggers Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and will be able to target treatments that delay dementia or stop it altogether.

By joining a research study, participants are eligible to receive insightful information about their body’s health and their brain’s health from state-of-the-art technology that they can then share with their physicians. Plus, people who participate in a research study may receive study-related medication and consultations at no cost, along with compensation for their time.

Pennington Biomedical’s IDRP is the only Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study site between Houston and Birmingham. That ranking puts it among top research institutions such as Harvard, Yale and the Mayo Clinic, making Pennington Biomedical’s IDRP an invaluable resource for the community.

To learn more about how to participate in a brain health study, visit, call 225-763-2973 or e-mail

Source of statistics: The Alzheimer’s Association