More Americans than ever are living well into their 80s and 90s.

That’s great, but with these advanced ages comes the equally advanced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’ve found the cure for the plague and we’ve found the cure for polio,” says Dr. Jeffrey Apter, founder of and chief researcher at Princeton Medical Institute on Bunn Drive. “But Alzheimer’s is a major health risk in the United States. It’s our current plague.”

The rise of Alzheimer’s in the U.S. stems from the dual fact that baby boomers, the largest generation of Americans ever, are living much longer than their parents, Dr. Apter says. The simple fact that aging greatly increases the odds of developing Alzheimer’s means that the sheer number of Americans living close to or even past the century mark could cause a major health crisis in the coming years. Right now, about 4 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s; by 2050, that number could quadruple.

This is why Dr. Apter and Princeton Medical Institute are looking for volunteers for clinical medical trials aiming to reign in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Anyone concerned about themselves or a loved one is welcome to a free consultation and memory test, which could afford volunteers the opportunity to take part in one of PMI’s highly promising trials.

PMI is looking for volunteers age 55 and older at any stage, from prodromal (mild cognitive impairment) to advanced, to study medicines that reduce the growth of amyloid and Tao proteins in the brain, Dr. Apter says. These proteins are abnormal entities in the brain, and as Alzheimer’s progresses, so does the amount of one or both proteins.

PMI’s research involves several drugs designed to boost the effects of existing Alzheimer’s drugs, such as Aricept or Razadine, which inhibit the progressive buildup of amyloid and Tao proteins. The institute’s current Phase III trials have shown very positive results in prodromal cases in particular, Dr. Apter says.

The advantages of taking part in a clinical trial are many. Volunteers receive free medicines, free MRI and PET scans, and free medical care under the supervision of some of the leading researchers in the field of cognitive deterioration. Dr Apter himself has published more than 25 articles in the area of psychiatric research and has been a nationwide opinion leader in psychopharmacology for more than a decade. He also is an attending physician at the University Medical Center at Princeton and a research collaborator in the Department of Psychology at Princeton University.

“We are making advances,” Dr. Apter says. “But we still have a long way to go.”

Anyone interested in taking part in PMI’s research may call 609-921-6050, or visit the institute online at www.PrincetonMedicalInstitute.com.

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