"I'm in the best shape of my life" says research study participant

Released: Friday, June 09, 2017

Bernard Baudin has always struggled with his weight, and when he turned 38 he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. A gastric bypass operation eventually helped him lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off, but his blood pressure remained high.

When Baudin heard about the rrAD research study (Risk Reduction for Alzheimer's Disease) at LSU's Pennington Biomedical, he jumped at the opportunity to participate. His younger sister had recently been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and he was eager to make a difference.

"I wanted to give back to the community," Baudin said. "I may not be able to help my sister, but I can give back to future generations. Plus, participating in the study has been good for me. I'm giving back and getting healthier in the process, so it's a win-win."

The rrAD research study is aimed at evaluating whether exercise, blood pressure medications, or a combination of both could help reduce the risk of developing dementia in individuals who have not been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia. The principle is that what is good for the heart might also be good for the brain as it ages.

Baudin has lowered his blood pressure through participation in the study, which requires him to get 100 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity each week. He's lost about 10 pounds, too.

"I've got a few aches and pains – I'm a 69-year-old guy—but cardio-wise I feel like I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. Being in the study has stretched me a little bit and I feel great," Baudin said.

Having access to world-renowned Alzheimer's disease experts and getting a personalized baseline on his cognitive function has been a positive aspect of the experience for Baudin as well.

"Pennington Biomedical is keeping up with the cutting edge of technology. They are right at the forefront of Alzheimer's disease research, and although Alzheimer's disease research has a long way to go, I know Pennington Biomedical is helping so many people right now—and in future generations—through their research," Baudin said. "If you want to make a difference in the world today, I would definitely recommend getting involved with their research."

Pennington Biomedical is one of four study sites around the nation participating in the study, which is funded by the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Aging. To learn more about the study, visit or call 225-763-3000.

For more information on how you can support this and other projects at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, visit