Monday, October 31, 2011


I know it has been a while since I have blogged. You may have thought I had died but no I am alive and getting back in. I will put a pause on the work series and come back to that, but I wanted to do something different today.

Most of us know research from afar, reading about it in the paper or on TV. A few have actually done research and then there are those who are the people the researchers use to study. Luana is one of those. This past spring she signed up to participate in a study through the Memory Research Center at Southwestern Medical Center. The name of the study is the ADNI study which stands for Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Basically it is looking to see if AD can be diagnosed earlier so that treatment can be started earlier. It looks at three groups - normal memory, people with mild cognitive impairment and those with early AD. Then they do MRI scans, PET scans (both traditional and with the new amyloid marker), neuropsychological testing, blood work and cerebrospinal fluid testing. They do one or more of these every few months.

That may not seem like much but it means we have to drive up to Dallas for these and they last most of the day (fortunately we have other reasons to go to Dallas). Then the neuropsychiatric testing is very draining on Luana (about an hour and a half of continual questions), but even moreso it is a constant reminder of what she cannot do. She cries every time she does this. Then of course is the fact that none of this will ever help her - her consolation is that it may one day help her children should they ever have to deal with this devastating disease. I am so proud of her at how brave she is to do this as well as how she handles it day by day, not giving in but continuing to live and serve others. I am thankful to God for her.