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University of Rochester recruits volunteers for research on Alzheimer's

Researchers are using an online DNA registry.

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - Jane Ellen Bleeg's loved ones have lived with Alzheimer's and some with Vascular Dementia. In Bleeg's spare time she is dedicated to research. 

Every six months Bleeg and her husband give a cheek sample swab that becomes part of GeneMatch. It's an online registry that matches volunteers to research opportunities. 

"We were delighted to learn that neither of us showed the brain markers for it. We are in a long term control group," Bleeg said. 

The University of Rochester is conducting two Alzheimer's studies that use GeneMatch. Both are testing a potential vaccine for the disease. Professor of Psychology and Neurology at the U of R, Anton Porsteinsson,  tells News 8, they need volunteers that carry the APOE4 gene. This gene can later identify carriers of Alzheimer's.

"We offer participation in prevention studies that reduce the level of amyloid. We hope by reducing amyloid beta we can delay the onset of clinical Alzheimer's disease," Porsteinsson said. 

Participants will not necessarily learn their test results, it depends on the study. Bleeg has learned hers but she remains committed to the research.

"I feel a real obligation to give back in ways that I can and this is one way to give back," Bleeg said. 

For more information on GeneMatch click here.

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