The main goal of WRAP is to understand the factors (emotional, biological, medical, environmental and lifestyle choices) that increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This is a first step in developing interventions that may protect against developing Alzheimer's disease.
WRAP is an observational study that is tracking the characteristics and habits of two important groups of volunteers:
- People who have one or both parents with Alzheimer's disease (the family history group), and;
- People whose parents lived to old age with no signs of Alzheimer's disease or other serious memory problems (the control group).
People who have a family member with Alzheimer's disease have a higher risk of developing the disease and are important research volunteers in this study. WRAP is the largest long-term study of healthy relatives of persons with Alzheimer's disease and has received scientific recognition and funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Enrollment in WRAP began in 2001. The plan is to follow participants for a minimum of 15 to 20 years. Over 1,500 people are now enrolled in WRAP, including over 1,100 family history volunteers and over 400 control volunteers. Unfortunately this number does not include a significant number of minorities. In order to have a study that is representative of the entire population, we are making a concentrated effort to increase minority participation, especially in the African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities.
Participation in WRAP includes an initial study visit and follow-up visits every 2 to 4 years. At each visit, study volunteers are asked to:
- Complete questionnaires about their background, medical history, and lifestyle habits such as exercise or diet.
- Have height, weight and vital signs such as blood pressure measured.
- Complete cognitive tests to check memory, attention and other cognitive skills.
- Give a blood sample for laboratory testing.
- Provide stored blood samples for use in future analyses, including genetic analyses.
Participants in WRAP are not eligible to participate in research studies at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
For more information, you can find a list of local contacts and read more at the WRAP website.