The Risk Evaluation and Education of Alzheimer’s Disease – the Study of Communicating Amyloid Neuroimaging (REVEAL-SCAN)

Research Type: 
Alzheimer's Disease

Background

There is increasing interest in using genetic tests and other biomarkers to identify individuals at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One of these biomarkers is a protein called “amyloid” that can build up and form deposits called plaques in the brain. Investigators believe that buildup of amyloid in the brain may play a key role in the later development of AD. Doctors can measure amyloid buildup in the brain using a PET scan. However, given the current limitations of predictive testing and AD treatment capabilities, there is much debate about how and whether to disclose such risk information.

The Risk Evaluation and Education of Alzheimer’s Disease – the Study of Communicating Amyloid Neuroimaging, or REVEAL-Scan, is the fifth study in a series of multi-site randomized clinical trials. These trials have examined the psychological and behavioral impact of providing genetic risk assessment to at-risk populations. With sites at Harvard / Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan, the focus of this trial is on cognitively normal individuals with a first-degree family member diagnosed with AD. The purpose of this study is to learn about the best ways to communicate educational information about amyloid brain scans and risk information about the chance of developing AD.

Study Aims

The REVEAL-Scan study aims to: (1) examine the impact of learning amyloid imaging results in cognitively normal individuals, to determine (2) if individual’s knowledge of their amyloid biomarker status will bias their thinking and memory and (3) whether such knowledge will prompt beneficial behavior changes or cause adverse psychological and social consequences.

Funding Source

The REVEAL-Scan study is funded by an RF1 grant (AG047866) from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Key Personnel

J. Scott Roberts, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator and UM Site P.I.

Wendy Uhlmann, M.S. C.G.C., Genetic Counselor and Co-Investigator

Lan Le, M.P.H., Program Manager

Rebecca Ferber, M.P.H., Study Coordinator