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Alzheimer’s disease has a profound and devastating impact on both patients and their loved ones. At first, those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s may forget details such as important dates, events, and directions to familiar places. As the disease progresses, they can lose their sense of time and place and may experience drastic changes in mood or personality. 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 far from the person they used to be.
The Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program at Barrow Neurological Institute, led by Anna D. Burke, MD, is committed to providing comprehensive clinical care for patients with memory disorders. The outreach and patient support team is 100% funded by philanthropy, and while providing compassionate patient care, they also work diligently on conducting groundbreaking research for the treatments of tomorrow. This would not be possible without donor support.
See what we achieved in research and patient care last year by downloading the FY22 Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Stewardship Report below.
FY22 Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Stewardship ReportDownload Report
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Donations are changing the lives of patients with Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders
The Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program has recently expanded clinical trials to include studies on both Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. It currently has 13 active clinical trials with 12 more pending.
- The team is currently conducting a clinical trial that investigates a treatment for Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients with the progranulin (GRN) gene mutation.
- Anna D. Burke, MD, and Marwan Sabbagh, MD, are studying the potential an anti-Abeta vaccine has to slow the development of Alzheimer’s for people living with Down syndrome.
- Marwan Sabbagh, MD, is focusing on repurposing the FDA-approved drug Revlimid to treat mild cognitive impairment, which is often a precursor for Alzheimer’s. Dr. Sabbagh is also investigating the use of a multiple sclerosis drug to slow down neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s.
- Yonas E. Geda, MD, focuses on lifestyle changes that can prevent the onset of dementia, such as the impact of physical activity on cognitive changes in older adults.
The memory disorders team brings comfort and dignity to those suffering from dementia and supports their loved ones through a variety of outreach programs. Some highlights from the past year include:
- The Spring Symposium offered an opportunity to learn more about brain health, specifically how diet, activity level, and mental health impact cognition.
- In-person Memory Cafés sessions gathered participants into a large group and then separate into breakout groups for care partners and patients.
- A new "My Dementia Journey Workshop" is a four-part workshop series covering topics such as dementia education, nutrition for brain health, speech pathology, and long-term care planning.
- The outreach support team began an in-person outreach campaign, representing the Program at care partner educational events for Huger Mercy Living Center, Hospice of the Valley, and more.
Alzheimer’s & Memory Disorders Program by the numbers
On the Horizon
Thanks to a generous donation, Barrow has created the Dan Cracchiolo and Pam Grant Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowship to train the next generation of leading dementia specialists. This fellowship will graduate physicians who have the clinical skills to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive disorders, as well as the scientific skills to become leaders in researching the risks, predictors, prevention, diagnostic tests and potential treatments. In addition, the program will seek to retain Fellows in Arizona in order to make the state more dementia capable, and expand care and knowledge, including underserved rural areas where treatment and care is currently more difficult to obtain.
A surprising and hopeful dementia diagnosis
Meet Jay Layman and learn how our team helped him navigate his Lewy body dementia diagnosis at just 51 years old.View Story