There are many days, usually the ones littered with playdough-covered floors and emphatic toddler temper tantrums, that I sometimes think I want to forget. But the truth is, I would never really wish this. Memories, whatever they are, are incredibly precious. They remind us of all the love and connections in our life and more logistically they allow us to function, to complete tasks we have learned throughout life such as bathing and dressing, driving a car, and caring for our families.
Through my own years working on an Alzheimer’s unit in a long-term care facility and my personal experience with mother losing her cognitive capacity towards the end of her life, I understand how scary and devastating the loss of memory can be, for both the affected individual and all involved caregivers. The way Alzheimer’s can steal a person’s personality invokes a very acute sense of loss while the person continues live.
So when The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry approached me to help spread the word about their mission, I jumped at the chance. The research field in this area is rich, but a large roadblock to further knowledge progress is lack of research subjects. The Registry’s goal is to maintain a list of names of persons who are willing and able to participate in research studies if one opens in their area that would be a good fit. It’s a matchmaking service, if you will.
One with a very important mission. As explained on their website, Alzheimer’s is an epidemic, and a very costly one. 1 in 9 Americans over 65 are affected, and a new diagnosis occurs every 68 seconds. If we do nothing, by 2050 16 million Americans may battle the disease, with the cost of care jumping six-fold to $1.2 trillion.
What can you do to help? Join the Registry. It’s a simple sign-up. They don’t require you to share personal health information and there is no obligation to participate if you are contacted about an open study. They just ask that you make yourself available to consider any opportunities that might be a good fit.
To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, I attended a briefing offered by Dr. Jessica Langbaum, Principal Scientist at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Associate Director of Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative. When she talked about how if we don’t work together to fight this disease, at it’s current growth rate, we will all be affected by Alzheimer’s in some way. This is one of the times, friends, when it’s not only important and good to help out, but necessary. Do your part today and add your name to the Registry.
As Langbaum shared at the end of her presentation, “Unfortunately with Alzheimer’s, we don’t have survivors who can tell their story. We have to do it for them.”
*****This post was sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, but my opinions and support of the organization are 100% genuine.*****