ST. LOUIS, Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial-services firm Edward Jones is announcing a $6.5 million allocation to fund Alzheimer's Association research to advance possible treatments and in the hope of finding a cure for the disease. The announcement comes in recognition of November being both National Alzheimer's Disease Month and National Family Caregivers Month.
The $6.5 million investment is part of the firm's overall commitment to the Alzheimer's Association and follows its recently announced renewal of a multi-year strategic alliance. Edward Jones is committing $25 million over the next five years to end Alzheimer's disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. The renewed commitment is in addition to more than $25 million the firm has invested since 2016.
"At Edward Jones, we partner for positive impact," said Ken Cella, Edward Jones principal responsible for Client Strategies. "I can think of no clearer articulation of our purpose than partnering with the Alzheimer's Association to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our clients, colleagues and communities. We are proud to support the wonderful work they do, including research projects in the lab, clinic and community to advance possible treatments and in the hope of finding a cure for the disease."
Funding Research in the Lab
Edward Jones is sponsoring two Alzheimer's Association research grants by early-in-career dementia researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: Andrea Soranno, Ph.D. and Nelly Joseph-Mathurin, Ph.D.
Soranno is studying variations in the APOE gene most closely associated with risk for developing Alzheimer's, while Joseph-Mathurin, is studying variations in the genes that cause familial younger-onset Alzheimer's.
"APOE is the largest risk factor for Alzheimer's in the older population," said Soranno. "It is crucial that we learn more about how APOE influences risk at the molecular level so that we can find new ways to intervene and prevent or delay the onset of symptoms."
Both Soranno's and Joseph-Mathurin's projects have the potential to inform novel strategies for the prevention, early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's.
"Alzheimer's disease is very complex, and in its familial form we know that the causative genetic mutations influence how the disease progresses. Large scale clinical trials are ongoing in families with rare genetic forms of Alzheimer's disease, and deeper understanding into how specific mutations affect disease progression, treatment response, and risk factors could help develop tailored treatments for specific families or individuals," Joseph-Mathurin said. "In working towards these goals, I am especially grateful for the support of Edward Jones and the Alzheimer's Association in pursuing this research."
"Groundbreaking ideas start early in a scientist's career. It is precisely at this point in their career that we must support scientists to attract and retain the best minds to our cause, and to create a vibrant research community," said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer, Alzheimer's Association. "At any given moment, the Alzheimer's Association is fueling research across the globe. Partnerships like the one we have with Edward Jones enable us to test new ideas and build a robust research pipeline, which generates hope for potential new treatments."
Funding Research in the Clinic
Edward Jones is funding two clinical studies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Southern California. The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), led by Randall Bateman, M.D. is a groundbreaking clinical trial testing multiple experimental Alzheimer's treatments.
The second clinical trial by Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., and Arthur W. Toga, Ph.D. at University of Southern California is exploring the vascular contributions to dementia in APOE4 carriers (VCD). The study examines whether neurovascular changes and dysfunction can be detected through a combination of biological changes, neuroimaging and cognitive assessments.
Funding Research in the Community
Edward Jones is also supporting the Alzheimer's Association's U.S. POINTER Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk. This community-based, two-year trial will evaluate the effectiveness of lifestyle modifications such as nutritional guidance and increased physical exercise in Americans believed to be at increased risk of developing memory decline and dementia. If the study's interventions prove effective, U.S. POINTER could set the stage for the development of the nation's first accessible, scalable and sustainable program for reducing the risk of cognitive decline.
About the Work of Edward Jones and the Alzheimer's Association It is estimated that nearly 300,000 Edward Jones clients and countless associate families have Alzheimer's or another dementia. To support early detection, Edward Jones provides the Alzheimer's Association's "10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's" online education program to its financial advisors. In turn, Edward Jones financial advisors host joint seminars with the Alzheimer's Association in their communities on ways clients and caregivers can protect health and wealth when facing a long-term illness.
Edward Jones became the first national presenting sponsor for the Alzheimer's Association's annual Walk to End Alzheimer's® in 2016, which takes place in more than 600 communities each year. Since that time, more than 74,000 Edward Jones colleagues and clients have walked and helped to raise more than $25 million in the fight to end Alzheimer's disease.
About Edward Jones Edward Jones, a FORTUNE 500 firm headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices caters to individual investors. The firm's 19,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1.3 trillion in assets under management. The Edward Jones website is at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.
About the Alzheimer's Association The Alzheimer's Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit alz.org or call 1-844-440-6600.