Alzheimer’s Donation Impact
Donations help rewrite the story of Alzheimer’s disease
Is it Alzheimer’s?
If you’re an adult in your late 40s to early 60s, you may have asked yourself this question when you’ve misplaced your car keys, had the name of a new friend slip your mind, or opened the door to a room only to realize that you can’t remember what you came in for.
It’s understandable that people are concerned about Alzheimer’s disease. We define who we are by what we remember—about ourselves, our family and friends, and our life experiences. Alzheimer’s slowly steals those memories away. The most difficult part of Alzheimer’s comes when a loved one no longer remembers their spouse of 50 years or their children and grandchildren. They are still there physically, but they are not the person they used to be. Although the Alzheimer’s journey is different for every patient, the story is the same, a long and painful goodbye.
At Barrow Neurological Institute, top-level researchers and clinicians are working to find better ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s, understand exactly how the disease works, design new clinical trials, develop new treatments and therapies, and provide ongoing support and resources for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. You can join Barrow Neurological Foundation in helping rewrite the story of Alzheimer’s by making a donation today.
The Impact of Alzheimer’s Donations
Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, worsening over time. While medications may help stave off symptoms for a limited time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Over time, the disease slowly destroys individuals’ memory and cognitive skills, eventually robbing them of the ability to care for themselves and carry out the simplest tasks. Eventually, they no longer recognize family members, lose the ability to communicate, and become bed-bound. In the story’s final chapter, the body shuts down.
The statistics for Alzheimer’s are staggering. More than 6 million older adults in the United States are living with the disease. That’s about one new diagnosis every 65 seconds. Alzheimer’s usually begins to strike after age 60, and the risk increases with each passing year. Life expectancy after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis varies; research studies indicate that patients age 65 and older survive an average of three to 11 years. It is expected that one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Today, Alzheimer’s disease kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
If the story of Alzheimer’s continues this way, the toll that this devastating disease takes in the U.S. will rise significantly in the coming years. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2050, Alzheimer’s will affect 12.7 million older Americans.
But the story doesn’t have to end that way. A new treatment breakthrough can change it. What will make that breakthrough possible? Your Alzheimer’s donation to Barrow Neurological Foundation.
Donating to Current and Future Research
With support from generous Barrow Neurological Foundation donors, physicians and scientists in the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program at Barrow work diligently on groundbreaking research to develop the treatments and therapies of tomorrow. Here are some research highlights from the Program:
- Disease-modifying treatments: Anna D. Burke, MD, director of the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program and Karsten Solheim Chair for Dementia, has served as an investigator for nearly 100 clinical trials in Alzheimer’s and related dementias, including ones that look at various approaches to disease-modifying treatments. These studies have included monoclonal antibodies against pathological protein targets such as amyloid and p-tau, medications reducing excitotoxicity that will help minimize damage to the brain cells, and therapies that improve cognitive function by stabilizing tau proteins.
- Alzheimer’s drug development: Marwan Sabbagh, MD, is working on two studies focused on repurposing the FDA-approved drug Revlimid to treat mild cognitive impairment, which often is a precursor to Alzheimer’s. He is also working on a research study that investigates the use of a multiple sclerosis drug to slow down neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s. Dr. Sabbagh discusses the impact donations have on advancing research and developing new treatments for Alzheimer’s in this video.
- Down syndrome with Alzheimer’s disease: Dr. Burke and Dr. Sabbagh both served as investigators in the first-ever clinical trial of an anti-Abeta vaccine for people living with Down syndrome. Initial results, which were published in the prestigious journal JAMA Neurology, demonstrated that the vaccine resulted in an anti-Abeta immune response and was safe and well-tolerated in all participants. The landmark study has the potential to slow the development of Alzheimer’s in those with Down syndrome, which in turn could provide treatment insight for the general Alzheimer’s population.
- Gene therapy in Alzheimer’s: David Medina, PhD, is investigating the development of a new gene-based therapy for Alzheimer’s that uses a specific signaling pathway as a means of neuroprotection. Dr. Medina’s expertise in neurodegenerative diseases, combined with the gene therapy expertise of Fredric Manfredsson, PhD, will allow Barrow to be the first institute to research the role of this novel pathway in stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Impact of exercise on brain health: In 2022, Yonas E. Geda, MD, received the Alzheimer Award from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease for a research paper he co-authored that demonstrates the impact of physical activity on cognitive changes in older adults. Initial results from the study showed that moderate physical activity, such as walking or biking, at least three times a week reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment by 25% in those age 70 or older.
Through innovative studies like these, Barrow is poised to be a leader in transforming Alzheimer’s research. Your donation to Barrow Neurological Foundation in support of Alzheimer’s research will help physicians and scientists continue pushing boundaries to rewrite the story of Alzheimer’s.
Donating to a Holistic Care Approach
Providing care to patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is more than medical interventions. As part of its mission to provide “wraparound” care to Alzheimer’s patients and support to their families, the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program is committed to helping them understand the illness and navigate the challenging road ahead.
When David Hubbard noticed that his wife, Connie, was starting to exhibit signs of mild cognitive impairment, he turned to the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program at Barrow for understanding and clarity. David and Connie met with Dr. Anna Burke, who confirmed Connie’s plight as a devastating combination of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and primary progressive aphasia (PPA). David says, “Dr. Burke’s dedication, sensitivity, and care never wavered. She offered us everything in her arsenal, from critical information about the disease to the sincerity she extended to Connie at every stage of her treatment.” You can read David and Connie’s full story here.
Because the Alzheimer’s journey is different for everyone, the Program strives to create a unique roadmap for every patient and family. This level of personalized care would not be possible without the support of generous donations to Barrow Neurological Foundation. Moreover, the Program’s outreach and support team is funded 100% by Barrow Neurological Foundation donations. The team goes above and beyond to address the needs of both patients and their care partners. Highlights include:
- Care partner support groups: Includes support groups for Alzheimer’s disease, FTD, and Lewy body dementia.
- Memory Cafés: Offered in both English and Spanish, Memory Cafés provide safe and stimulating activities for patients and respite for care partners.
- Dementia with Dignity: This virtual workshop series provides care partners with information, practical tips, and support to overcome challenging aspects of providing care.
- Creating My Way, Day-By-Day: This workshop series provides crucial decision-making information to the care partners of patients with early to moderate dementia.
- Fall and Spring Care Partner Symposiums: Care partners of Alzheimer’s patients have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field about a variety of topics. For example, the Spring 2023 Care Partner symposium focused on common behavior changes in individuals with dementia and how care partners can respond to these changes.
- Music, Movement, and Memory Classes: These include movement exercises, memory and hand-eye coordination games, and other activities.
Your donations help the memory disorders team continue bringing comfort and dignity to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia and vital support to their loved ones.
Donating to Education and Training
While the aging population at risk for developing dementia has increased significantly in recent years, there are still relatively few dementia specialists. The innovative work that needs to be done to rewrite the story of Alzheimer’s disease cannot take place without the specialists who make it happen. Thanks to a generous donation from the Steele Foundation, the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program was able to launch the Dan Cracchiolo and Pam Grant Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowship to train future generations of dementia specialists. Directed by Dr. Geda, the one-year program provides fellows with the opportunity to work in clinics with both behavioral neurologists and neuropsychiatrists, as well as participate in research for Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
Make a Difference by Donating Today
Every day, people are helping to rewrite the story of Alzheimer’s disease—one donation at a time. When you make an Alzheimer’s donation to Barrow Neurological Foundation, your funds help support the work of a world-class team of physicians and researchers who are committed to providing comprehensive clinical care for patients while conducting innovative research into new and more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
Join us in rewriting the story of Alzheimer’s by making a donation to Barrow Neurological Foundation today.