Vanessa Rua, RN (center) presents Peter and Joanna Bristol with Memory and Aging Program Citizen Scientist Awards at the last in-office visit for Peter’s three-year participation in an Alzheimer’s prevention research study. Peter was the first person in the world to receive the A4 investigational drug.

On January 16, the Memory and Aging Program (MAP) celebrated the last in-office visit for Peter Bristol, the first person in the world to join the A4 clinical trial aimed at the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Mr. Bristol does not have memory impairment but qualified for the study based on his family’s history with the disease. He had been involved in the study for four and a half years.

The study included 60 trial sites across the U.S. and Canada. The MAP team presented Mr. Bristol and his wife and study partner Joanna Bristol with a Memory and Aging Program Citizen Scientist Award certificate to honor the time and dedication he has given to the A4 study and to the fight against Alzheimer’s.

In a letter to MAP administrators at the conclusion of his trial period, Mr. Bristol said:

“[The Memory and Aging Program’s] drive to end Alzheimer’s disease picked me up from anxiety and worry that I may get this family disease.” 

In the letter, Mr. Bristol went on to say:

“It crystalized my thinking into a goal you have heard me repeat over and over: I want to help. I am honored to be part of your team, and your efforts…With your help, I found a voice to express my emotions and share my goal with others…I look forward to continue to help solve, halt, cure Alzheimer’s disease with the MAP team.”

“Peter has been an amazing advocate for Alzheimer’s research, not only through his participation but through his willingness to share his story,” said Memory and Aging Program Director Dr. Stephen Salloway. “We are so inspired by his courage and outspoken dedication to the fight against Alzheimer’s.”

Dr. Salloway went on to explain, “It’s so important that we get more people involved in this research, and that people understand that their participation is needed even if they have completely normal memory. Our goal is not just to treat Alzheimer’s but to find a way to prevent it from developing in the first place. Peter’s contribution to those efforts is invaluable, and we are so grateful to him and to his wife Joanna for the time and dedication they invested in this study over the last few years.”

Mr. Bristol made headlines when he embarked on the study, with coverage from the Associated Press and an NBC10 Health Check segment. Watch the video below to learn more about his story and what prompted him to participate in the study.


The Memory and Aging Program is currently seeking people with normal cognitive function as well as those with mild memory impairment to participate in current and future studies. To learn more and get involved, visit the program’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry page.


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