AdventHealth Participating in Groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Special to the FMA from AdventHealth | Updated Dec. 8, 2022

AdventHealth is one of two sites in the U.S. and one of seven in the world to partner with the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC) and participate in groundbreaking research to measurably increase rates of cognitive screening, early detection, and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study’s innovative approach pilots the use of a new blood test, PrecivityAD™, to detect Alzheimer’s related biomarkers and technology-enabled cognitive assessment tools in clinical practice.

According to recently published research, the PrecivityAD test uses a single blood sample and mass spectrometry to measure an individual’s circulating levels of beta-amyloid peptides 42 and 40, and apolipoprotein E protein form. Combining these measures with the person’s age, the test uses a statistical algorithm to calculate an Amyloid Probability Score (APS) to indicate the likelihood of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Brain amyloid plaques are associated with the destruction of brain cells and represent one of the biological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

When scaled globally, this research has the potential to detect and diagnose cases more quickly, speeding access to the latest treatments and innovations, thus slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and providing a better quality of life for a longer period.

“The potential impact of this study is enormous,” said Steven R. Smith, MD, AdventHealth’s chief scientific officer. “There are over six million Americans already living with Alzheimer’s disease and this is unfortunately expected to grow to 8.5 million by 2030. This study could help put affected people on the correct care pathway sooner, reducing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on the patient, caregivers, family and loved ones – something that already costs Americans an estimated $321 billion in care each year.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 million Americans provide more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care each year for family and friends with Alzheimer’s disease.

“We know the main risk factor in developing dementia, and specifically Alzheimer’s disease, is age. Many people in our older population think that cognitive changes are normal. But there is a difference between what is normal and what might be a sign of something more serious,” said Valeria Baldivieso Hurtado, MD, a geriatrician who focuses on senior memory care and well-being at AdventHealth and one of the investigators in the trial. “It’s important to have early detection so we can work with patients to take steps to keep dementia from progressing.”

To qualify for this study, participants must be at least 65 years old and have not been diagnosed with dementia.

First, participants must complete an online rapid digital cognitive assessment online, developed by Cogstate in Melbourne, Australia, which uses images of playing cards to test brain function.

Based on the cognitive assessment results, those who qualify will undergo an in-person evaluation at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute. This includes the new PrecivityAD™ blood test developed by C2N, St. Louis, as well as another cognitive test known as a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), designed to assist in the detection of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

“The input we received from physicians across the spectrum – from primary care to neurology – was instrumental in several aspects of this Alzheimer’s disease early detection effort,” said George Vradenburg, founding chairman of the board, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative. “We look forward to not only participation, but continued feedback from physicians as they implement this cutting-edge technology in practice.”

If you are a physician with patients who may be candidates for this clinical trial, encourage them to visit to determine their eligibility.