Recently my husband and I drove to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison for a day of Alzheimer`s testing. I have been enrolled in a study there, through the Alzheimer`s Disease Research Center ( ADRC ), since the first year of my diagnosis in 2012.
I spent the day going through a series of tests, both mental and physical, to see how I was doing. A young man…one of the researchers…had me go through a series of games as a test of my ability. An example would be showing me a large picture filled with people and things and surroundings, in many different colors.
He had me look at the painting for a few minutes and then asked me to tell him what I saw in the painting. He repeated it again, hours later, to see how many of the items in the picture I could recall.
They gave my husband, Dan, and me a nice lunch. Further testing took place; for example, a blood draw, and lots of questioning. The recall games went on until I was exhausted. Even though it was exhausting, I will be willing to come back again next year, for the sake of research.
I hope others will do the same for Alzheimer`s research, and hopefully , to someday find a cure. If you are interested in finding an Alzheimer’s research study near you, sign up for Trialmatch, a free clinical studies matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, and healthy volunteers to current studies.
Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with Alzheimer’s disease.