Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Medicine

Spinal Fluid Donation for Alzheimer's Research

Published: Feb 21, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 21, 2011) — Every 70 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease. At this time, there is no cure for Alzheimer's - but researchers and clinicians at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging are working diligently to change that fact, even when it means putting their own bodies on the exam table to recruit both healthy research subjects as well as those with cognitive impairment.

"It has been found that there are proteins associated with Alzheimer's that are altered in the spinal fluid, but not in the blood," said neurologist Dr. Gregory Jicha.

"In order to obtain samples of these proteins for testing and research, we need volunteers to donate samples of their spinal fluid. This is a safe and simple procedure. To encourage others to step forward to donate spinal fluid, I decided to have the procedure done on myself with the cameras rolling," said Jicha.

In a seven-minute video, available for viewing on the University of Kentucky's YouTube channel, Jicha narrates the spinal fluid donation procedure as it is performed on him. Other researchers from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging join Jicha in providing facts about Alzheimer's disease and the importance of spinal fluid in Alzheimer's research.

For more information on spinal fluid donation and Alzheimer's, contact the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (859) 323-5550.

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