By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room
This award comes with a $2500 prize that I may use either for my education or for my cause. I will be donating this prize to the Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsLaboratory at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
I work in this laboratory 3 to 5 days a week, as a Research Intern. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best and brightest Alzheimer’s researchers anywhere. Not only are these scientists brilliant, but they are hard working, kind, and compassionate. These are things I value greatly; I don’t believe brilliance alone can accomplish much.
Because funding is hard to find in these days of economic stagnancy, I have been trying very hard to apply for various awards and research funding. I have found a great deal of help here on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. Carole Larkin was one of the people that wrote my letter of recommendation for the Gloria Barron Prize, Emma Richman, a loyal reader, wrote another, and Marie Marley has been working with me to apply for various grants. I am so thankful to these trusted friends I have found on the ARR!
I believe that Alzheimer’s Disease must be fought on multiple fronts. Research is imperative, but even research must be diverse and range from Dr. Tanzi’s innovative genetic research, to Dr. Qiu’s and Dr. Zhu’s important research on the AD/diabetes connection and various enzyme interactions, to John Ziesel’s important art programs and their effects on Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. Equally important is the kind of empathetic physician interaction exemplified by Dr. Forester, at McLean Hospital and many other wonderful Geriatric Psychiatrists that I have had the opportunity to meet.
Since I first learned about Memory Café’s, I have felt that these are the wave of the future for Alzheimer’s caregiving. AD patients often resent being sent to Adult Day Care, but, somehow, they never resent participating in social events TOGETHER with their caregivers. Once there, they meet others like themselves, and they quickly become involved in activities, giving caregivers an opportunity to interact, learn, or just relax.
Perhaps, some of these cafes might become a source for the type of Cooperative Caregiving that Bob envisions, with two or three of the caregivers being given the opportunity to take a few respite hours.
This week, Carole sent me a newsletter, Memory Memos, from the Upper Valley Alzheimer’s
Community, which is in the Lebanon NH area. They are obviously running some great programs! Below are some photos of their participants doing Springbok PuzzlesToRemember at their Memory Café, being facilitated by Dr. Santulli from the Dartmouth Institute.
I know Carole is becoming very involved in setting up numerous Memory Cafes. These patients and their caregivers will be very fortunate.
Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
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