Jun 13, 2010

Max at the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center

By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

For the past week, I have been volunteering at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (ADC).

The Alzheimer’s Disease Center has three primary missions:

1. Conduct and facilitate cutting-edge Alzheimer's disease research.
2. Enhance clinical care for Alzheimer's disease patients and their families.
3. Provide education regarding Alzheimer's disease to both professional and lay audiences in the greater Boston area and beyond.

I feel I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute at the ADC. While much of the work I have been doing thus far is clerical, I have also learned, this week, a great deal about various tests to evaluate patients with possible Alzheimer’s disease.

I have been working in the HOPE program.

The Health Outreach Program for the Elderly (HOPE) study is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

HOPE “is a long-term study of memory and aging. This study is designed to help us improve our understanding of how memory and other thinking abilities change in people over the age of 65. The HOPE study evaluates persons with and without memory problems throughout their lives. The HOPE study also serves as a registry of research participants to help other researchers who are studying normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The results of the study provide valuable information that will assist researchers who are working toward finding causes and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related memory impairment.”

In addition to my work at the ADC, several researchers there have been mentoring me on which books to read and films to watch to increase my knowledge on Alzheimer’s disease. In the weeks to come, I will have interaction with patients and be exposed to some current laboratory research. The more I learn, the more people I will eventually be able to help.

On the PuzzlesToRemember front, I have reached over 4000 puzzles collected. Springbok puzzles is in the process of testing their handmade puzzle dies, and they plan to produce puzzles with 12 and 35 pieces. I have been advising them on choosing puzzles with bright colors and tranquil, memory-provoking themes.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. 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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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,565 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room