SARASOTA – The Florence A. Rothman Institute (FARI) will embark on an innovative study of Alzheimer’s disease with support from a $5,000 grant from the Verna L. Grauel Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The FARI study seeks to develop a statistical model that uses using electronic medical records (EMRs) to identify hospitalized patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
“We at the Florence A. Rothman Institute are pleased to accept this grant for support of our innovative approach to detecting Alzheimer’s disease and we wish to thank the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Verna L. Grauel Fund for recognizing our effort and potential,” said G. Duncan Finlay, M.D., president and CEO, FARI, and chief medical officer of Alive Sciences in Sarasota.
Alzheimer’s disease is an escalating national epidemic affecting an estimated 5.7 million American. However, it is often not diagnosed accurately because the disease process begins before there are any symptoms, said Finlay, who is the principal investigator for the FARI study, “Develop and Validate a Model to Identify Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias using Electronic Medical Record Data: A Feasibility Study.”
Finlay added that the data-rich FARI study is designed to complement other approaches, such as Alzheimer’s disease registries and data repositories, in order to identify undiagnosed dementias. Electronic medical records offer a unique documentation of medical care, status, and outcomes of a diverse population that is representative of “everyday” patients, he noted.
“We anticipate that this approach will provide insight into factors and pathways potentially involved in susceptibility or resilience to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” said Finlay. “Gaining a better understanding of these issues may suggest strategies for prevention, such as reducing risk factors or modifying behaviors.”
Founded in 1979, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County awarded grants and scholarships totaling $33 million this past year in the areas of education, health and human services, the arts, animal welfare, and the environment.
The Florence A. Rothman Institute (FARI) is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization in Sarasota, Florida that conducts and supports medical research, focusing on patient data, including analytic tools developed by brothers Steven and Michael Rothman following the 2003 death of their mother, Florence A. Rothman. FARI’s mission is to improve healthcare delivery by performing and supporting research to develop and utilize innovative techniques for analysis of data within electronic medical records. For more information, visit www.farinstitute.org.