Welcome, and thank you for your interest in U.S. POINTER!

What is U.S. POINTER?

The U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER) is a two-year clinical trial to evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target multiple risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults (age 60-79) at increased risk for cognitive decline. U.S. POINTER is the first such study to be conducted in a large group of Americans.

Study Summary

In U.S. POINTER, approximately 2,000 volunteer older adults who are at increased risk for dementia will be enrolled and followed for two years. Two lifestyle interventions will be compared, which vary in their intensity and format. Eligible volunteers will be randomly assigned to these interventions to evaluate whether cognitive benefits from a structured program differ from a self-guided program.

Background and Significance

Lifestyle interventions combining multiple behavior components show promise as a therapeutic strategy to protect brain health. A recent two-year clinical trial in Finland (the FINGER Study) reported that a combination of physical activity, nutritional guidance, cognitive training, social activities, and management of heart health risk factors protected cognition in healthy older adults who were at increased risk of cognitive decline. There are currently no pharmacological treatments that rival this effect. There is an urgent need to expand this work to test the generalizability, adaptability and sustainability of the FINGER study's findings in geographically and culturally diverse populations in the U.S. and across the globe.

Eligibility Criteria

You may qualify for POINTER if you:

  • Are 60 - 79 years old
  • Are not a regular exerciser (generally less than 3 times per week)
  • May have other risks for memory loss in the future such as family history of memory problems or slightly high blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar

Study Sites

U.S. POINTER will enroll volunteers from up to five large healthcare networks across the U.S. Community partners, including the national network of Alzheimer's Association Chapters, will assist with intervention delivery - to set the stage for an accessible and sustainable community-based model for prevention.

Please contact one of the Study Sites below for more information about joining!

Outcome Measurements

Volunteers in both interventions will be evaluated for changes in cognition every six months using "gold-standard" cognitive assessment tools. Vascular and metabolic health, physical function, mood, and quality of life will also be assessed.

Study Timeline

The projected timeline for the study, from trial planning through data dissemination, is expected to be five years. Final results are projected to be released in late 2024.


The Alzheimer's Association is providing funding for U.S. POINTER.

News Media Contact

Alzheimer's Association Media Line, (312) 335-4078, media@alz.org