Alzheimer's disease is a very personal disease. It's also a worldwide epidemic. It's estimated that in 40 years, 1 in 85 people around the world will have it. We met a couple from Hartford whose world has been turned upside down in two short years after that diagnosis.
David and Lois Kaiser are celebrating 53 years together this year, but Lois is afraid David will get to the point not far from now where he no longer remembers her. David was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008 and the disease is progressing very rapidly.
Lois says, "Oh yes. Yes. If you heard him speak (you'd know immediately). When he started out he could talk just like anyone else and now just a year later, I have an awful hard time understanding what he says."
Listening to him talk about his pride and joy a 1952 Kaiser Deluxe car that he restored himself, you get the sense he knows what he's saying. He just doesn't know it's coming out garbled.
Lois says, "He gets angry when I don't understand him. That's what I miss the most. I hear a good joke and I can't tell him because he won't understand. Every once in a while you see a bit of the old David, that old spark and that's good."
Lois has enrolled David in an Alzheimer's disease Study currently underway through the Avera Research Institute. Dr. William Fuller is the principal investigator. As he explains Alzheimer's patients are missing an enzyme that breaks up a certain protein in the brain. The clumps of protein build-up and ultimately damage and destroy nerve cells. That's where this clinical drug study comes in to play. A medicine is given through an IV to qualifying participants once every 12 weeks. Each time they are given an MRI to see if there are any changes in the brain.
Dr. Fuller with Avera University Psychiatry Associates says, "We have to get rid of the protein so by administering an antibody that attacks that protein and breaks it up and then the brains existing mechanisms can remove the protein. The earlier you can get to this protein before it builds up the better off you'll be."
The Kaisers and their family will also be participating in the Sioux Falls Memory Walk this Saturday for the Alzheimer's Association. They want to be involved in raising money and awareness to end this awful disease.
Lois says, "We started a team with our kids and their kids and we raised about $900 last year. Our goal is a little higher this year at $1000 or more with the hope that it's going to get this disease eventually. That's our prayer anyway."
Our prayer too.
2010 SF Memory Walk for the Alzheimer's Association:
Where: Sioux Falls, SD Sertoma Park
When: Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 9 am Registration 10 am Walk
Length: 1.1 Miles
Contact: Call or Email *Alzheimer's Association-South Dakota Office/Jenny Van Kekerix* at *605.339.4543and firstname.lastname@example.org*
Alzheimer's Disease Study
Principal Investigator: William Fuller, MD
Study Coordinator: Christi Hinker, RNC
Sub-Investigators: Matthew Malone, MD; John Erpenbach, CNP; Susan Weaver, CNP; Julie Kittelsrud, CNP; Gail Fuller, RN, Christi Hinker, RNC
Study Description: Effect of LY2062430, an Anti-Amyloid Beta Monoclonal Antibody, on the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease as Compared with Placebo
Overview: This study is evaluating the effectiveness of an investigational medication at slowing the impact of Alzheimer's disease on memory and daily activities when given as an intravenous (IV) infusion once every 4 weeks.
Participants can continue taking their current Alzheimer's medications. The investigational medication, study-related evaluations, and laboratory tests will be provided to qualified participants at no cost.
• Be 55 years or older, and generally healthy.
• Have mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
• Have a reliable caregiver (study partner) who can assist him or her during the study.
Contact: Christi Hinker, RNC Phone: (605) 322-3084 Email: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=Osteoporosis%20Study%20Question> firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>