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The Memory Education and Research Initiative (MERI) is a program originally established in collaboration with Rockland County, funded by the Honorable John Murphy, a county legislator. MERI offers memory and cognitive evaluations at no cost to local residents with memory complaints. The primary purpose of this outpatient program is to collect pilot data on the frequency of probable Alzheimer’s disease in individuals referred from community physicians and Senior agencies. Other goals of the program include: to provide individuals with a resource for research in memory disorders, to assess the relationship between APOE є4 allele, plasma Aβ1-42, and genes that influence cognitive performance in the elderly population, and to offer the opportunity to eligible candidates to participate in our various clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's.

Memory Education and Research Initiative (MERI)

What is the purpose of the MERI?

The MERI provides a gateway between clinical research in Alzheimer’s disease and clinical care within the Rockland County community. Some of the goals of the MERI are to:

1. Make neuropsychological and psychiatric evaluations available to individuals with memory disorders and to individuals at risk to develop such disorders

2. Communicate the results to participants’ personal physicians

3. Bring advances of basic research in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders to clinical study.

4. Alert community physicians and psychologists about ongoing clinical studies to treat disorders that affect memory

To date we have evaluated more than 1000 patients, with an average of 3-6 patients per week. Each evaluation takes approximately 3 hours, but slightly longer for individuals with AD. In addition to assessing new participants, we provide annual re-evaluation to monitor changes in memory functioning.

The MERI project is both an important long-term research endeavor aimed at identifying factors involved in cognitive decline, and an important immediate public health resource for patients and their families.

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