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Pennington Biomedical Research Center to Hold Forum on Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Released: Monday, October 11, 2010

BATON ROUGE - The Pennington Biomedical Research Center's (PBRC) Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention will host its second annual public forum on dementia and Alzheimer's disease on Tuesday, November 2, at PBRC in Baton Rouge.

The forum is free and open to individuals seeking the latest insights in clinical research findings and advances in the field of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Guests may register online at http://idrp.pbrc.edu.

The program will feature leading dementia experts, including Jeffrey Burns, M.D., Department of Neurology at Kansas University Medical Center and Director of its Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Research Program; Martha Morris, Sc. D., professor and director of the Section of Nutrition & Nutritional Epidemiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; and Jeffrey Keller, Ph.D., Director of the IDRP at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The IDRP's first annual conference in 2009 attracted more than 500 individuals, caretakers, and medical professionals to the PBRC campus. "There are more than 100,000 individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in Louisiana. There is a great need for timely information on this topic," said Dr. Keller.

The IDRP was established in 2009 to improve the quality of life for individuals in Louisiana through research programs focused on dementia prevention and providing vital educational opportunities for individuals affected by dementia. IDRP is focused on creating the clinical research infrastructure, new clinical trials and conducting conferences to promote the latest in dementia research and prevention.

"Because of the overwhelming response from the community, IDRP has recruited more than 600 Louisiana residents who are now participating in a longitudinal study to identify the basis for age-related dementia," said Dr. Keller. It is the 12th largest study of its kind in the nation. The study aims to develop tools for early detection and to develop therapeutic avenues for treatment.

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.