Emmes Recognized in New Research Published by the Journal of the American Medical Association

Dr. Traci Clemons was one of the Authors and Study Investigators

Aug 27, 2015, 08:30 ET from The Emmes Corporation

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Emmes Corporation today announced that one of its principal investigators and statisticians, Dr. Traci Clemons, co-authored a study that was just published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  The researchers had conducted a five-year study with 4,000 patients to determine whether omega-3 and other nutritional supplements are associated with cognitive function.  Dr. Clemons had led the Emmes team doing the clinical trials associated with the study.

The results of the study showed that neither omega-3 supplements nor other vitamins, such as vitamin C, E, beta carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, or zinc, slowed the progress of cognitive decline.  The study was one of the largest and longest of its kind and was published in the JAMA's August 25 issue.

"Although there are positive benefits from a diet of foods containing omega-3 and antioxidants, the study did not prove that dietary supplements could slow the progress of cognitive decline," said Dr. Clemons.

Dr. Clemons credited Dr. Emily Chew, the primary author of the study, with her initiative in broadening the focus of the prior work that Dr. Clemons and the Emmes team had done for the National Eye Institute.  Dr. Chew was the lead author of the study and is the deputy director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications at the National Eye Institute.

"Our original focus was to test the effect of these supplements on eye disease," noted Dr. Clemons.  "Dr. Chew worked to broaden the study so that it could address cognitive decline, not to mention issues like cardiovascular disease and mortality.  Including other parts of the National Institutes of Health and doing cross-disease research makes a lot of sense, from both a time and cost standpoint," she added.

The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded Emmes its first Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) contract in 1990.  Emmes tested whether high doses of antioxidants and zinc would slow age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness.  The study demonstrated that the AREDS supplement, which contained vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc, reduced the risk of developing late age-related macular degeneration by 25% within five years.  In a follow-on contract, completed in 2012, AREDS2 tested whether adding lutein and zeaxanthin and/or omega-3 fatty acids to the AREDS formulation could further reduce the progression to late age-related macular degeneration.  This study found that the addition of lutein and zeaxanthin could be an appropriate carotenoid substitute for beta-carotene for the AREDS formulation; there is now an over-the-counter product available at pharmacies throughout the country.

Dr. Clemons added that further research could be done to assess possible associations of diet and cognitive function.  In addition, Emmes continues to conduct twice-yearly follow-ups with the 4,000 clinical trial participants in order to assess the long-term impact of the oral supplements on eye health.

According to Dr. Anne Lindblad, president and chief executive officer of Emmes, "We've worked on ophthalmic disease for more than 25 years, and we're proud that one of the premier journals in medical research has published the findings of the latest study."

The research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association can be found at JAMA research.

About Dr. Traci Clemons

Clemons joined The Emmes Corporation in 1999 and is the principal investigator of the Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) sponsored by the National Eye Institute.  Since her start at Emmes, she's authored or co-authored more than 80 papers.  Clemons has held roles of increasing responsibility since joining the company and serves as principal investigator for several studies.  She is also on the company's leadership team as vice president. Prior to joining Emmes, she was assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a post-doctoral fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health.  Clemons holds both Ph.D. and master's degrees in biostatistics from the University of Alabama and a B.A. in mathematics from the University of West Florida.

About Emmes

We collaborate with our clients to produce valued, trusted scientific research. Our team members at Emmes are passionate about making a difference in the quality of human health, and we have supported more than a thousand studies across a diverse range of diseases since our formation in 1977.  Our research is contributing to a healthier world. For more information, visit www.emmes.com.

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