I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago at the age of 54. I was the 6th member of my family to have Alzheimer’s, and last year my older sister became the 7th member of our family to receive a diagnoses.
The first warning sign for me was when I noticed I was having difficulty remembering how to do new tasks and reports at work. But then something happened that I could not ignore. I got lost on my way home from work. I had left my
cell phone with GPS at home. After an hour of trying to find my way home I decided to call my wife and ask her to come to get me. So I went to a gas station and explained my situation and asked if I could use their phone. She met me, and I followed her home.
After undergoing a series of inconclusive tests prescribed by my family doctor, I was referred to a cognitive neurologist at The Ohio State University. Cognitive neurologists specialize in problems related to memory; they are a sub-specialty of general neurology. The cognitive neurologist gave me a series of memory tests including a beta amyloid PET scan that ultimately showed I had Alzheimer’s. Beta amyloid protein buildup in the brain is one of the causes of Alzheimer’s. I had seen the effects of Alzheimer’s on my family members, and I knew how serious this was going to be. This shook me. But my faith sustained me.
Clinical trials are thorough, safe, confidential and free
My cognitive neurologist prescribed Aricept, and he suggested I get involved in Alzheimer’s clinical trials. I enrolled in a trial and it has definitely stabilized my cognition. The great thing about clinical trials is that they check everything. They check my memory, eyes, hearing, heart, lungs, and blood. The testing is so thorough that I am very comfortable participating. The clinical trial medication I am given is free of charge
and so are all the appointments and tests I receive. I have been very impressed at the level of testing that occurs in a clinical trial. It is so extensive that I am very comfortable and very positive about the entire process. It has allowed me to lead a relatively normal life, and for this I am forever grateful.
An added bonus is there is no charge for being in a clinical trial. The trials advance the understanding of treating Alzheimer’s. It is my hope that one day, and what a glorious day that will be, they will find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Enroll in TrialMatch® and help find a cure; it’s easy, safe and confidential
A good way to get involved in a clinical study is by enrolling in TrialMatch, which is the Alzheimer’s Association’s FREE nationwide service for clinical trials. Trial Match needs people who have dementia and those who do not. All you need to do is complete a short online profile, and then you will periodically receive an email about clinical trials near you.
You choose whether you want to enroll in a study. It’s completely voluntary and confidential and it’s FREE! You can dis-enroll from TrialMatch at any time.
I recommend saying yes because we can’t find a cure without valid research. People like me and the others living with Alzheimer’s need people like you to participate in research to find a cure. Just think what a glorious day it would be if a cure could be found.
I want to thank the Alzheimer’s Association for everything they do for those of us living with Alzheimer. The Alzheimer’s Association has greatly enriched my life with their programs and activities, and I am forever grateful.