We both have a family history of dementia, and have watched our parents go through it, so we recognized that Phil had some early symptoms. Last spring we were fortunate enough to enroll in a clinical trial to investigate treatment for early onset mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the OHSU Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center. We now go regularly for serial tests and scans to assess Phil’s status. Throughout the entire process we have received optimum support from the research team, including Joe Quinn, M.D., the lead investigator, and Lisa Loree, R.N., the study coordinator. Moreover, Lisa calls between appointments to check in with us and hear how we’re doing.
We are at an early stage of MCI. When Phil complains to members of his age cohort, their near-universal reaction is “Welcome to the club.” If by participating in this trial, we may contribute to discovering what may cause/delay/ reverse/prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s or other similar conditions, we are both obliged and privileged to participate in the effort to stymie a fast-growing health threat to America’s aging population. The loss of mental control inherent in dementia is unnerving to victims and their friends/mates/caregivers alike.
However, with feelings of waning personal control and efficacy, we do have the reassuring back-up of ready access to high-quality resources to help us navigate the course of the disease if it progresses. We have both been impressed by the Layton Center and its research team, as they have responsively implemented incremental changes in the protocol as suggested by the cumulative findings of the study, all the while building a mutual trust-and-confidence relationship with us as subjects of their research. No lab mouse ever felt so secure.
If someone were to ask either of us “Why should I support the Layton Center?” we would say, “Because those of us who are lucky enough to get old enough are likely to have brain problems to go along with our physical ailments.” The search for forestalling such problems is continuous; we can never learn enough. Studies such as this trial are critical elements in that learning process. We value knowing that Phil’s participation in this research will expedite the work of discovery and implementation of universal treatments for Alzheimer’s, while we cling to the bonus hope that he may personally benefit. Please consider making a gift in support of the OHSU Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center today. Your gift is the gift of hope.