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Burke Rehabilitation Center Continues to Recruit Participants for Dementia Study

Released March 16, 2016

 Burke Rehabilitation Center Continues to Recruit Participants for Dementia Study

White Plains, NY – March 16, 2016 – Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, N.Y. is continuing to recruit participants for its three-year clinical trial to evaluate whether increasing brain thiamine through the use of a new drug can help slow cognitive decline in individuals with mild Alzheimer’s disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Thiamine (vitamin B1) is closely linked to memory and cognition. Many thiamine dependent processes are diminished in Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of this trial is to determine if increasing brain thiamine availability with the investigational drug benfotiamine will minimize the decline in glucose utilization and slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The trial, which recently completed its first year, is being run by Barry Jordan, M.D., M.P.H., assistant medical director of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Gary E. Gibson, Ph.D., Director of the Laboratory for Mitochondrial Biology and Metabolic Dysfunction in Neurodegeneration at Burke Medical Research Institute. The co-investigators are Pasquale Fonzetti M.D., Ph.D., Staff Neurologist at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Rosanna Cirio, MS, Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at Burke Medical Research Institute and Jessica Franchino-Elder, Ph.D from the Burke Medical Research Institute.

“Burke has always been a leader in preclinical and clinical research in Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases, yet even with all the advances we, and other researchers have made, there are still limited treatments available that can slow the progression of these diagnoses,” says Dr. Gibson. “We already know that benfotiamine is safe, and our hope is that the use of it will be an effective way to treat these diseases, which over the long term, can be particularly debilitating.”

Individuals who are at least 60 years old and with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's disease may be eligible for participation. Study related evaluations include laboratory, comprehensive neurological examination, neuropsychological assessments, and Amyloid and Glucose PET imaging. Study participation will include follow-up visits to Burke Medical Research Institute every 3 months. There are no costs associated with participation in this study.

This trial is supported by the National Institute of aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Disease Discovery Foundation (ADDF).

For more information on study criteria, visit If you are interested in participating in the trial, please contact Rosanna Cirio, MA at 914-597-2476 or

About Burke Rehabilitation Hospital

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute rehabilitation hospital. Founded in 1915, it is the only hospital in Westchester County dedicated solely to adult rehabilitation medicine. In 2016, Burke became part of the Montefiore Health System, which allows Burke to reach more individuals who can benefit from their intensive rehabilitation programs. Burke offers both inpatient and outpatient programs for those who have experienced a disabling illness or traumatic injury. Burke’s world-renowned doctors and therapists provide state-of-the-art treatment while its clinical researchers explore the frontiers of neurological and rehabilitation medicine. All share the Burke mission to ensure that every patient makes the fullest possible recovery from illness or injury regardless of their ability to pay. For additional information on Burke Rehabilitation Center, please visit

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