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New Way for Oregonians to Support Alzheimer's Research This Tax Season

Write “21” on your 2009 state tax return to support Alzheimer’s research in Oregon
There’s a new way to support Alzheimer’s research while completing your 2009 tax return.  On Oregon state tax forms 40 and 40S, there are boxes where taxpayers can list the charity they would like to support via a number code. This year, the number code “21” ensures that donation dollars will be given to the Oregon Partnership for Alzheimer’s Research.

In years past, taxpayers could donate to the fund by simply checking a box on their tax form. However, the system has changed this year due to the expanding number of charities that can receive donations via tax forms. The fund, which is administered by the Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Oregon Health & Science University, supports aging and Alzheimer’s research across the state of Oregon.

Past donations have typically supported several small or startup research projects, including:
  • Research at Oregon State University to understand the keys to optimal aging.
  • SeveralOHSU studies geared toward understanding chemical changes in the brain related to the onset of the disease.
  • A Legacy Health System study geared toward improving the treatment of depression in mild dementia cases.
  • An OHSU study of gene variations linked to late-onset Alzheimer’s.
  • A Willamette University study to determine whether music therapy is a successful method for treating anxiety associated with Alzheimer’s.
  • An Oregon State University study to track behavioral changes associated with the disease.
  • A University of Oregon study geared toward understanding the causes of brain cell death.  
  • Development of the Oregon Brain Bank at OHSU, a valuable research tool.
  • A Portland State University study to develop tools for understanding whether physical activity slows the onset of dementia

The fund was established by the Oregon Legislature in 1990. An advisory committee, which includes representatives from the Kaiser Center for Health Research, Portland State University, Legacy Health System, Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, the Salem Alzheimer’s Network, Providence Health System and OHSU, determines where the research dollars will be spent.
“My very first grant was a tax check-off grant in 1994. It permitted me to complete a study of clinical trial methodology which was later published in the journal Neurology,” said Joseph Quinn, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine. Quinn is an established clinician-researcher who has since published papers on several key Alzheimer’s breakthroughs.  

“That initial research project served as an opportunity to introduce myself to the research community. I have gone on to other clinical trials, most recently leading a national multicenter NIH-funded trial involving 50 academic medical centers, and it all started with the tax check-off.”

Another Oregon researcher who received past funding from the tax check-off program is Paula Carder, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Institute on Aging at Portland State University. Carder used the funding to conduct a study on staff management of patient medications in dementia care facilities. Specifically, the goal of her study was to determine whether there are best practices that could be adopted in facilities across Oregon.

“These funds are very important because they pay for a wide range of health studies that directly impact Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers,” said Carder

About Alzheimer’s disease in Oregon
An estimated 80,000 Oregonians currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age. Up to half of people older than 85 will develop cognitive impairment or dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults.

For more information, or to make a direct donation, visit the Oregon Partnership for Alzheimer’s Research Web site at www.ohsu.edu
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