KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — November is National Family Caregiver and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and Kettering resident, Lanae Scott, is no stranger to the devastating impact of the disease.
“My grandmother, she was 96 and she had Alzheimer’s. And then my mother has Alzheimer’s. And also my mother’s brother, my uncle, had vascular dementia,” Scott explained.
Scott has always been an advocate for research and finding a cure. She even quit her job to take care of mother full time. After seeing a story on the Today Show about a new Alzheimer’s study, she knew she wanted to do more.
“Just seeing the show on the Today Show was like, I was just drawn to it. I just felt like it was a God thing that I needed to be a part of that,” Scott said.
Scott is part of a new study at Vanderbilt University where researchers are looking at how heart health impacts brain health. The goal is to look at the long-term affects of heart health on the brain and memory, and see if Alzheimer’s can eventually become preventable. Scott said she had to go through extensive testing, but it was worth it.
“I’m not afraid of these tests. I’m not afraid of having bloodwork and lumbar puncture, or whatever they need to do. I’m a willing participant because I want to make a difference for future generations going forward to find a cure possibly, or medicine that helps,” Scott said.
Annemarie Barnett is the Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter. She said getting people involved in trials and studies is crucial to finding ways to prevent or slow the progression of this disease.
“This is the best time to be a part and support the association, and to be in trials. We need people, not just with the disease, we need healthy people, too,” Barnett said.
Barnett said making sure these studies are diverse is even more important.
“This disease affects African-Americans differently. They’re two times as likely to get it. Hispanics are one and a half times more likely to get it. So it might work for a white male, but is it going to work for an African-American woman? Without people participating in these trials, we will never know those things,” Barnett said.
As Scott continues on this research journey, she hopes other people feel the same call to donate a little of their time to a great cause.
“I actually feel privileged that I am able to be in it. I remember telling the lady I spoke with from Vanderbilt that I would almost give my right kidney to be in this research because I so want them to find out what is causing this and how we can stop it,” Scott said.
To learn more about the Vanderbilt University study, click here or call (615)-875-3175. Researchers are looking for people aged 50 and up. People do not need to have any family history of the disease.
Barnett encourages people to sign up for TrialMatch. It is a clinical study matching service that helps people find the best study for them. To learn more, visit this website or text the keyword “TrialMatch” to 52886. People can also call 800-272-3900.
People do not need to have any family history of Alzheimer’s or dementia to join. Signing up for TrialMatch also does not mean you are obligated to enroll in any of the studies. It is completely confidential.