Mecca's Alzheimer's disease research project selected for American Brain Foundation crowdfunding site

April 20, 2017

A project by a Yale Department of Psychiatry fellow to investigate new methods to treat and monitor people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease has been selected for inclusion on the American Brain Foundation’s crowdfunding site.

Dr. Adam Mecca, a Geriatric Psychiatry fellow, is attempting to generate $69,000 in pledges through crowdfunding, the practice of raising money through multiple sources to fund a project. Only projects that meet their funding goal will receive money to continue. The campaign ends July 20.

Mecca is researching new treatments and drugs to fight Alzheimer’s disease. He will use a highly advanced imaging system called positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate why people with Alzheimer’s disease suffer a loss of connections between brain cells. Researchers know that memory defects are caused by the loss of those connections.

The study will involve 40 people with Alzheimer’s disease, which affects over 5 million Americans and for which there is no known cure. Mecca will compare people at early and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease with healthy people. By using non-invasive imaging, Mecca hopes doctors will be able to diagnose and monitor patients earlier than is currently possible, thus improving treatment success.

Among Mecca’s partners in the project are Dr. Christopher van Dyck, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience, and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit at Yale; and Richard Carson, professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and of miomedical engineering, and director of the Yale PET Center.