Local commercial real estate first quarter report 2011

For commercial real estate, specifically office leases, the last couple of years have been difficult for north Palm Beach County, due in part to consolidation in the financial services industry and the downturn of the housing market, explained Mark Pateman, commercial broker for Cushman & Wakefield. “What used to be a bright spot with vacancy rates as low as 6 percent has softened overall to 20 percent.”

The trend he’s seen locally has been about downsizing. Now, though, starting in the last quarter of 2010 and continuing through the first quarter of 2011, existing tenants who’ve hired an employee or two are needing more space and firms are taking the opportunity to move up to a higher quality building or to a preferred submarket.

“We are starting to see some new market entrants. Because of the overall economy returning to realistic levels, some new businesses can enter our market.”

Another recent trend he’s noticed: significant headquarters or large-user takedown of space that usually goes to Boca Raton. TBC Corporate, the parent of Tire Kingdom, for example, is now headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens at 4300 TBC Way.

Last year, G4S Wackenhut moved its North American headquarters from Palm Beach Gardens to a brand new 63,000-square-foot building in Jupiter on University Drive, Abacoa.  And Nova Southeastern University, currently located in a 60,000-square-foot space at 3970 RCA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens, will soon move to a new 75,000-square-foot facility on the corner of Military and I95 in Palm Beach Gardens.

Other than that, activity is up, he said. “I’m showing space more often. I’m optimistic. By the end of this year, we will see some real absorption, vacancy rates start to decline, and in 2012, we’ll see some rental rate growth. Landlords will start to push back on concessions by the end of 2011.

“Everyone is optimistic that Scripps and Max Planck will have a positive impact, too, but that’s going to happen in an evolutionary manner. Once those companies start to spin off new biotech firms, they’ll need lawyers, engineers, financial planners and new office space, but that’s still a long-term goal.”

Any high-quality office space is trading at very high prices, he added. “The next level down doesn’t have nearly as much interest.  It’s still too early to take positioning risk for most people because there are still too many question marks.”

A highlight noted on CB Richard Ellis’ submarket quarterly report: Chromalloy Gas Turbine LLC, an aerospace company based in New York, will be relocating its headquarters to 3999 RCA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens into a 30,000-square-foot building and adding 70 new jobs.

Commercial_Chromalloy sm

The county and the city of Palm beach Gardens have approved an incentive package of approximately $270,000 and final approval from the state to provide approximately an additional $800,000 in incentives is close at hand.

“This company falls within our economic program’s targeted industries and is exactly what we are looking to bring to the City of Palm Beach Gardens,” said Natalie Wong, the city’s director of planning and zoning.  “This partnership is a result of the city’s commitment to provide financial incentives, and we are thrilled that we could be a part of helping to close this deal.”

Another interesting “development:” FPL is in the process of buying a vacant commercial property, 80 acres on the north side of PGA Boulevard between Interstate 95 and A1A, in Palm Beach Gardens. The site is zoned for 882,000 square feet of office, light industrial and retail space. In court documents that piece of property was owned by PGA North II of Florida LLC, personally guaranteed by Palm Beach Gardens builder, Dan Catalfumo.

In January, a Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge granted Seacoast National Bank a $32.6 million judgment against Catalfumo on the guarantee. In February, Seacoast moved to seize the land by filing a foreclosure lawsuit against PGA North II.

This purchase did amount to a good prospect for FPL, according to FPL spokesman Mayco Villafana. “We were not looking for property but this opportunity came up for very good price. We have no specific plans but this parcel, but it gives us several expansion options close to our headquarters.”

Reis Inc.’s recently released submarket commercial office report for North Palm Beach County shows first-quarter 2011’s vacancy rate is at 14.7 percent and the asking rent rate at $21.99 per square foot. The effective rent rate is listed as $16.13, and takes into account concessions that landlords have made to make the deal.

Compared to a year ago, these numbers were 15.1 percent vacancy rate, $22.12 asking rent rate, 16.28 percent effective rent rate.

Compared to the first quarter 2007, the numbers were seven percent vacancy rate, $22.93 asking rent rate, $18.75 effective rent rate.

Nationally, first quarter 2011, the vacancy rate is 17.5 percent, the first vacancy decline on record since the third quarter of 2007. Current quarter rent is $27.66.

While there is a relationship between how rents and vacancies change in a market, the level of rents is not set by the vacancy rate, said Ryan Severino, senior economist at Reis. “The rent level is set by supply and demand forces. How much are tenants willing to pay for space? If I look at our data, I can find a number of markets where the difference in vacancy rate is immaterial but the difference in rent level is rather large. The market is pretty efficient and competitive so it will set rents at a level that clears.”

Cushman & Wakefield’s statistics for the first quarter 2011:

Palm Beach Gardens / North Palm Beach:

2,848,931 square feet of inventory

20 percent overall vacancy rate

43,611 square feet leasing activity year to date

(69,843) square feet direct absorption year to date

$27.83 overall weighted gross rental rate.


781,100 square feet of inventory

18.3 percent overall vacancy rate

2,187 square feet leasing activity year to date

73,038 square feet direct absorption year to date

$23.26 overall weighted gross rental rate

written for palm 2 jupiter

Discover Local Artists: PBC Art Teachers Association

The Art Gallery at Eissey Campus presents “Collective Synergy,” a juried exhibition by members of the Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens, May 17 through September 2.

The 25 instructors in the show teach kindergarten through twelth grade with the School District of Palm Beach County. There will be 65 works of art in the show, from photography, digital photography, mixed media, ceramics, to collage on paper, oil, watercolor and acrylic painting, and pen and ink.

Vase by Kovachik. 14 by 8 inches, wood fired ceramic, $350.

Usefulness, interaction, sharing, involvement, and history are all words Brian Kovachik uses when he talks about creating his functional artworks utilizing the potter’s wheel. Kovachik is a teacher at Jupiter High School.

“My works are made from various stoneware clay bodies exposed to wood firing processes. The emergence of earth tones in colored glazes and slips address visually a relationship between the vessels and the origin of the material.  There is an immense connection with the past, present, and future that I find very gratifying.”

From ancient eastern methods of wood firing to modern day wood firing, this process connects a community of potters with the past.  Though formed and manipulated to serve a purpose, pleasure is taken continuing this developed connection with the user in everyday life by having his works used with a purpose, he said. “My works are intended to be used in common everyday rituals such as eating meals, socializing, and aesthetic enjoyment.

“I receive gratification from taking form, function, and comfort into consideration as I create works that will connect the user and myself for many years.”


Diane Cappella, a teacher at Independence Middle School, said she’s been an artist as long as she can remember.

“I love being in the zone”and escaping to my right brain,” she said. Cappella has a B.F.A. degree

“The Look of Love” by Cappella. a 20-by-20-inch photograph on canvas, $300.

from Penn State University, with a major in painting and a minor in sculpture and photography.  “I love all of them. I also have an M.S.E. degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.  I have been teaching art most of my life.  Now that I’m retiring, I will be able to devote more time to my own art. In the past several years, I have become an avid nature photographer specializing in wildlife and taking it upon myself to crusade for our diminishing wildlife and their much needed habitat.

“I have been exhibiting my photos for several years now and will publish a book in the near future.”


In her artwork, Britt Feingold, a teacher at Bethune Elementary School, strives to stimulate thoughts and provoke feelings in the viewer.

“I want them to be curious, interested, and thinking about the work even when it is no longer visible.

Feingold’s “Reflection,” photography 17 by 14 inches, $200.

“I am proud of the work that I choose to do and hope that I can ignite the senses.  While deciding what to create, I try to visualize the piece finished, how I want it to look, and what I am trying to say.  I like using a variety of media and as to how I choose what to use, it depends on what I am trying portray and how I want the viewer to feel.  I enjoy the satisfaction that at least in my eyes, I have accomplished my point and created something worth paying attention to.”

As an artist, creating is time consuming, she said. “Works might take a day, a month, or what seems like an eternity. The process is different for each individual artist.  When I have finished that work though, the satisfaction of seeing what I have visualized come to life fills me with unbelievable pride.  In that moment, I am so happy to be an artist and to be sharing my joy with others.”

Feingold enjoys photography because she likes to document the world around her and how she sees it.  In certain frames it is the colors, shadows, reflections, stillness, an emotion, or simply the natural beauty of what is being shot that appeals to her.  “I mix up color and black and whites; I feel that certain shots can only be one or the other, other times both. I have a great admiration for nature and strive to show that in my work.”

All of the artwork is for sale, with prices ranging from $50 to $1,200. The opening reception is Tuesday, May 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. The juror for the exhibition is Sherry Stephens, an associate professor at the College. The opening reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The Eissey Campus Art Gallery atPalm Beach State College is at 3160 PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. The gallery is located in room 113 the BB building. Gallery summer hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Thursday. For more information about the exhibit, call Karla Walter at (561) 207-5015.

PB Post article link, May 14, 2010

Eye for an eye

It’s no longer debatable: for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the inexpensive Avastin (at $50 a dose) is just as good as Lucentis (at $2,000 a dose), according to the report from the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT), which was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on Sunday, May 1.

Doctors are being incentivized to use the more expensive drug, remember? Medicare reimburses physicians 6 percent of the sales price for the drug they use. On top of that, Genentech started a rebate program for high-volume Lucentis users.

In an earlier issue of Palm 2 Jupiter, Bascom Palmer ophthalmologist, Philip Rosenfeld pointed out the money side of this debate, as well as outlining research phases with these two drugs. At that time, he said  he was anxiously awaiting the CATT results.

And here they are: Results from the first year of the two-year clinical trial, funded by the National Eye Institute, showed that Avastin, a drug approved to treat some cancers and that is commonly used off-label to treat AMD, is as effective as the Food-and-Drug-Administration-approved drug, Lucentis, for the treatment of AMD.

Wet AMD, the leading cause of blindness of the elderly, occurs when certain proteins (vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF) cause abnormal blood vessel growth in the back of the eye. As the blood vessels grow, they can leak blood and fluid, which damage the macula—the part of the retina that lets one see color and fine detail.

Rosenfeld, who was the lead investigator in phase 1 trials for Lucentis in 2001, said that Lucentis was revolutionary. “The way Lucentis works, it binds to VEGF, stopping the growth of abnormal blood vessels. It changed everything. Rather than simply showing down vision loss, we got dramatic vision improvement in a day or two. Patients were seeing better.”

Then, in 2003, Rosenfeld who also has a Ph.D. in genetics, began studying Genentech’s literature on Avastin, a drug that also blocks abnormal blood vessel growth.

“Both Avastin and Lucentis are derived from the same molecule, which was a mouse antibody. The mouse antibody was then humanized (made to look like a human antibody) and then Lucentis was made as a fragment of the antibody. So, both Avastin and Lucentis bind VEGF exactly the same way, only Avastin is a larger molecule and Lucentis is a fragment of this larger molecule.”

He suggested to Genentech that Avastin could be used systemically for AMD, but the company was not interested, so he raised money for a trial. He found that Avastin used systemically was effective, but had a 1-percent risk for heart attacks and strokes that he and his colleagues did not want to take.

“Then we had a Eureka moment.” Rosenfeld said. “We realized that if we injected the same amount of Avastin as Lucentis, we would have the same amount of inhibitory activity, and it worked.

“We presented this to meetings and it spread all over the world, and Avastin was ready before Lucentis was available.”

In 2004, the FDA approved Avastin for the systemic treatment of metastatic colon cancer. Also that year, some doctors started to give Avastin systemically as an intravenous infusion.

In 2005, ophthalmologists began injecting AMD patients with low doses of Avastin, due to its similarity to Lucentis and its availability. Many physicians saw a beneficial treatment effect and Avastin’s use grew rapidly. In 2006, two Genentech-sponsored clinical trials established Lucentis as highly effective for the treatment of wet AMD.

Ophthalmologists used Avastin primarily as needed when there was evidence of active disease. Also, most clinicians adopted as needed dosing for Lucentis, which was a departure from FDA-approved labeling and the monthly dosing schedule evaluated in the Genentech-sponsored clinical trials.

In 2008, the National Eye Institute decided to fund CATT to compare the two drugs. “Over 250,000 patients are treated each year for AMD, and a substantial number of them receive Avastin. Given the lack of efficacy data regarding Avastin for AMD treatment, the NEI had an obligation to patients and clinicians to conduct this study,” said Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NEI.

The CATT study has now reported results for 1,185 patients treated at 43 clinical centers in the United States. AMD Patients were randomly assigned and treated with one of four regimens for a year. They received Lucentis monthly or as needed, or Avastin monthly or as needed.

Patients in the monthly dosing groups received an initial treatment and then had an injection every 28 days. Patients in the as needed groups received an initial treatment and were then examined every 28 days to determine medical need for additional treatment. The as needed groups received subsequent treatment when there were signs of disease activity, such as fluid in the retina.

Change in visual acuity served as the primary outcome measure for CATT.  Some of the main findings are as follows:

●      Thus far, visual acuity improvement was virtually identical for either drug when given monthly. Also, when each drug was given on an as needed schedule, there also was no difference between drugs. As needed dosing required four to five fewer injections per year than monthly treatment and overall visual results were still excellent.

●      Adverse events indicate development or worsening of a medical condition. They may or may not be causally associated with the clinical trial treatment, but they are always monitored and reported in any clinical trial. The median age of patients in CATT was over 80 years, and a high rate of hospitalizations might be anticipated as a result of chronic or acute medical conditions more common to older populations.

●      Serious adverse events (primarily hospitalizations) occurred at a 24-percent rate for patients receiving Avastin and a 19-percent rate for patients receiving Lucentis. These events were distributed across many different conditions, most of which were not associated with Avastin in cancer clinical trials where the drug was administered at 500 times the dose used for AMD. The number of deaths, heart attacks, and strokes were low and similar for both drugs during the study. CATT was not capable of determining whether there is an association between a particular adverse event and treatment. Differences in serious adverse event rates require further study. Investigators in the CATT study will continue to follow patients through a second year of treatment. These additional data will provide information on longer-term effects of the drugs on vision and safety.

The outcome of this study will not sway doctors one way or the other, Rosenfeld said. “They had already made up their minds. And these results won’t make a difference to Medicare, which does not have a mandate to recommend treatments based on cost. But, thank goodness, we now have two excellent AMD drugs.

“”However, if we had rerun the phase 3 Lucentis trials and replaced Lucentis with Avastin, the results would have been identical,” Rosenfeld said. “The frustrating part is this: Avastin could have been available for clinical trials in 2000. We could have run the trials with Avastin and, no doubt the FDA would have approved it for AMD for 2003 and 2004. Just think of all the blindness we could have prevented.”

For a November 2011 story on VEGF Trap Eye’s FDA approval, go here:

Discover Local Artists: Schorr and Selikoff

“Visions: Real & Imagined,” featuring the work of artists Elle Schorr and Nathan Selikoff,  opens at Palm Beach Gardens City Hall, Monday May 9.

This exhibition explores two  different approaches to capturing and portraying the complex world surrounding us, juxtaposing the photographic images of real city life as seen by Schorr with imaginative and abstract computer generated imagery by  Selikoff. Both present representations of the world around us: Schorr’s based on reality as seen through her camera, Sellikoff’s based on the underlying, and unseen, realities of science and math as imagined through his computer.


“My photographs are reflections taken on city streets, and explore the intersections of past and present, old and new, shadow and light as captured by my camera in real time,” Schorr said.

“I  seek out the cacophony of city life, looking for a fuller experience of the streets, the neighborhoods, the mood, the changes in lifestyles and eras in which the city was built.

At times, my images become mysterious, even magical. They are of real life, but often not realistic, nor literal.” More of Schorr’s work can be seen on her Web site.


Said Nathan Selikoff’: “My explorations take place in the fuzzy overlap between art, mathematics and programming, transforming the non-visual reality of equations and systems into abstract imagery in the form of prints, animations, and installations.

Using the computer as my primary artistic tool and pulling from such diverse areas as chaos and population simulation, I mix mathematics with traditional elements of design to create experimental cutting edge art.” His work can be seen on his site.

“Downtown Blues” by Schorr, 30″ w x 22″ h,  1/10, $1,200.  
“Death Mask 1″ by Selikoff,  33″ h x 23” w, $315.
“Evolution” by Schorr, 28″ w x 40″ h, 1/10, $1,500.
“Helios” by Selikoff, 36″ x 36″, $985.

The exhibition, part of Palm Beach Gardens’ GardensArt program, opens in Palm Beach Gardens City Hall, on Monday, May 9,  with an reception on Wednesday, May 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. It continue through June 23. Palm Beach Gardens City Hall is located at 10500 North Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens. Exhibition hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call Amy Stepper at (561) 630-1116.

Discover Local Artists: Requirements

Just wanted to put all this in one spot for those of you local artists who want to have a story both here and uploaded to the pbpulse site.

In order to “sign up,” just to let you know I have to make sure everybody gets a fair shot at it, so please contact me and see what I have scheduled and get the AOK before you go to all the work to get your material together for me.

For uploading to the pbpulse site, you must be local (Palm Beach County) and your work must be original, for sale, and on exhibit in some public place where people can visit.

Here’s what I need from you AND I NEED EVERYTHING, so are you willing to go the whole mile?

  • I need your bio or artist statement. I don’t need your resume because a bio or artist statement is more personal and can be used as a quote. If it’s a solo exhibit, give me a paragraph on the body of work that you are currently exhibiting as well as an explanation of the jpg of your work that you will be submitting to me. If you have a site, please send it along because I can include it.
  • You will need to submit to me three pieces of your work. I need the title, medium, dimensions, price. Size of the jpgs, no bigger than 600 pixels across, and 72 dpi.
  • I also need a headshot, the town in which you live, and all information about the exhibit and the gallery. I need the exhibit’s name and dates. If there’s an opening night, I need dates and time. Gallery information needs to include the name of the gallery, address, hours and days of operation, contact phone number. All this info would be emailed to me at cdavis9797@comcast.net.

If this is a gallery show, giving me the above info for three artists works nicely. Obviously, I won’t need as much text. just a oneliner about the work exhibited, why the artist is doing that kind of work or some little explanation about the piece submitted ought to do it (I can use this info as a quote).

If this is a solo exhibit, I need something that will work nicely for the text part. Here are questions that I would ask you if I was doing a face-to-face interview, and may help you in gathering what I need for the text part…


1. In what town do you live?
2. What is your favorite medium?
3. Why did you choose it?
4. What is your usual (or favorite) subject matter?
5. Where do you do your work?
6. Does your exhibit have a name? Is it your latest body of work? or does it relate because of a particular theme? What connects the pieces on exhibit?
7. Why do you like what you like — for the images you have attached and are exhibiting, explain how the subject matter impressed you, tell me the story behind them, what inspired you?

ONE OTHER THING: Since this is a free service (I am not paid by The Palm Beach Post for this and i have umteen other jobs for other papers that are deadlining),  the above requirements must be followed to a T so that I can do this very quickly (I wish I had more time to play with this, because I like doing this, but I don’t.)

To get the whole thing going just email me that you will commit to giving me everything that I need as quickly as possible without fuss, muss or stress, and we will be good to go! If you don’t know how to do the above, let me know, and I will find someone (who you’d pay) who can help you.

Alzheimer’s Patients Take Part in Clinical Trials for New Vaccine

Greg Marion, 47, a general contractor who owns Marion Construction in Jupiter, said his mother, Earline, 81, had been doing fine up until a few years ago. But then he found out that she had been writing checks to a fraudulent sweepstakes charity that was taking advantage of her. Marion took over her finances and moved her into the house next door to him. “She was very disoriented, confused and uncomfortable. I thought that maybe the move was traumatic for her, but, after she settled in, she started repeating herself every few minutes.” Their doctor suggested that she see a neurologist at Premiere Research Institute at Palm Beach Neurology in West Palm Beach.

“At first, she didn’t want to go to another doctor, but then she admitted to me that she was having symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s.

“So, we went to see Dr. Walter Martinez (the institute’s co-director) and she had some initial review tests and MRIs, and, at that point, she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and he explained the disease to us.” Earline was given prescriptions for an Excelon patch (which decreases the chemical, acetylcholine) and Namenda (a drug that regulates the activity of the chemical, glutamate) and she is taking part in a clinical trial with Bapineuzumab (a vaccine that appears to bind to amyloid and neutralize its toxic effects).

“We noticed within a couple of weeks that she stopped repeating herself,” Marion said.

Six years ago, Mickey Rodriguez of Stuart noticed that her husband, Frank, 75, was becoming forgetful. “He’d ask me the same thing over and over, and say, ‘I saw that before,’ when I knew he had not.”

She took her husband to Premiere Research Institute to have him tested, and “they found that he fits into the Alzheimer’s category,” she said.

Although she and her husband knew that there is no cure for the disease, they decided that he would take part in clinical trials. “I thought if I could get him into treatment early, we could stall it, or, who knows, maybe it will help our grandchildren, at least,” Rodriguez said.

All in all, Frank has taken part in four clinical trials at the institute, three with varying dosages of Aricept (a drug that decreases the chemical, acetylcholine) and one in combination with an injection of Bapineuzumab. He did best, Mickey felt, when he was taking 23 milligrams of the Aricept. “He did very well on that dosage. Years ago, he used to paint. He started again and was better at it than ever. He thrived on that drug.”

But, when the trial was over, the FDA put a hold on that drug dosage because of side effects that some of the patients experienced. “So we weren’t given the drug for free, which usually happens for people who take part in the study,” Rodriguez explained.

“But, since then, the FDA has lifted the hold, and I’m hoping that our doctors will arrange for him to get a prescription for 23 milligrams of Aricept because it really helped him,” she said.

Both the Rodriguez family and the Marion family couldn’t be happier with the care they’ve received at the research institute. And while they hope that their taking part in clinical trials will slow down the progression of their disease, they also want to contribute to research that might produce new medicines that can help others in the future.

Dr. Carl Sadowsky, co-director of research at Premiere Research Institute, has been conducting trials for more than 25 years. He is also medical director of the Memory Disorders Center at St. Mary’s Hospital, a clinical associate professor, Division of Neurology, at Nova Southeastern University and a board member of the Southeast Florida Alzheimer’s Association.

“Frank and Earline are on one of the disease-modifying therapies,” Sadowsky said.

“We are using antibodies to try to reduce the amyloid burden in the brain.”

Amyloid, a sticky protein that damages the neurons is the real culprit with Alzheimer’s and the time to treat the elevated amyloid is before it causes damage, he said. “To illustrate, think about cholesterol.

“We don’t wait until a person has a stroke. If a person’s cholesterol reading is high, we put them on drugs because we know that cholesterol will cause damage.

“There are a whole group of treatments to lower amyloid.”

For some trials, an antigen is given to the patients so they can develop their own antibodies and researchers are also working on multiple ways to remove amyloid from the brain using immune therapy, he explained.

Sadowsky said he and his team are able to recruit for trials because they have good ongoing relationships with the people they treat. “We take care of our patients,” he said. “Just this year, a patient I cared for will be involved in a study of General Electrics. He has a life expectancy of less than one year.

“The study requires a brain donation.”

“We will scan his brain now, and compare it to a scan taken post mortem, looking for amyloid.

“This is not an easy thing to talk about with people as you can imagine,” he said. “It’s very hard to advertise for a study like that. It’s easier if you have a good relationship with your patients.”

But these are critical tests, he said. “We need to treat Alzheimer’s patients earlier before the disease becomes severe.

“Alzheimer’s is becoming the epidemic of the 21st century – 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. If you make it to age 85, your chances of getting it are 40-50 percent.

“The longer you live, the greater the risk. It’s expensive, devastating and if we don’t get a better handle on it, it will overwhelm us financially and medically.”

In the last five years, researchers have made progress in understanding the disease, which was recognized in 1907 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, he said.

“The Alzheimer’s vaccine by Pfizer/Wyeth, Bapineuzumab, looks promising – an antigen is given so that the patients develops their own antibodies.”

Patients undergoing trials at his institute are counseled about the benefits and risks and they don’t pay for treatment. “They are given a small stipend for their time and to cover some of the gasoline for their travel. That’s important because they are donating their time and effort.

“If the requirements for the trial are too difficult, they won’t participate. We have to be cognitive of what the patient and family wants.”

For help with finding appropriate testing, read about Alheimer’s Association’s ProjectMatch, here.

Written for Palm2Jupiter

Help for Alzheimer’s Patients and their Families

TrialMatch program helps pair patients and trials

TrialMatch, a service offered by the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, can help patients and caregivers find appropriate clinical trials. “There are lots of trials out there, but they have specific criteria for inclusion,” said Lauren Young, LCSW, the association’s helpline coordinator. “It can get frustrating to figure out and we can help.”

Research, she said, is important not only to look for future cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease, but also for discovering new ways to cope with the disease from the emotional and social perspectives. “Trials listed on TrialMatch are approved research studies that are ethical and government regulated to protect the safety of the patient to whatever extent that is required,” she explained. Another service provided by the Alzheimer’s Association is the 24-hour helpline at (800) 272-3900. “Caregivers and patients can call the helpline to explore whether participating in a clinical trial is a good fit for the patient, or to ask questions about the process of participating in clinical studies. We can provide publications about the process, as well,” she said.

Earline Marion, who is being treated for Alzheimer’s Disease, has chosen to take part in a clinical trial testing out a new vaccine that appears to neutralize some of the toxic effects of the disease.

Premiere Research Institute at the Palm Beach Neurology Center in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Neurological Center in Palm Beach Gardens conduct trials locally.

“And if we can’t find an appropriate trial, patients can get help at the memory disorders centers at either St. Mary’s Medical Center (West Palm Beach) or Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton). They bring together neurology, psychiatry, nursing and social work to meet the needs of the patients and their families.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is a national organization that offers a myriad of programs. “Our chapter has the second largest call volume of all the association’s chapters in the country,” she said. “We offer supportive counseling, a 24-hour helpline, an identification program for patients who wander, in-depth community education, professional training, support groups and an annual conference.

“We also promote research. We are the second largest private funder of research internationally, after the U.S. Government.”

Subsidized caregiver support programs, such as daycare and homecare, are limited and have waiting lists, she said, while there are many good private programs available. “We advocate through public policy initiatives for enhancing programs for care services within our community.”

To find out about clinical trials through TrialMatch, go to www.alz.org and click on TrialMatch or call (800) 272-3900.

A Life After Diagnosis

Alzheimer’s Community Care is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1996 that serves Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties and offers specialized care to Alzheimer’s Disease-and-related-disorders patients and their caregivers. Services include adult day service centers, family nurse consultants, 24-hour Alzheimer’s crisis line, support groups, case management, education, training and advocacy. The organization has eleven specialized Alzheimer’s adult day service programs and seven family nurse consultant offices in fifteen locations throughout the three counties.

Written for Palm2Jupiter