Woman Participates in Alzheimer’s Research in Memory of Late Husband

22 Jun Woman Participates in Alzheimer’s Research in Memory of Late Husband

Anne Snyder recalls how her husband of 61 years traveled to Lake Tahoe just to kiss her.  “I didn’t want to there with all those people there and he was so mad. He was furious with me,” the 87-year-old said.

The lovebirds made up when Frank told Anne he couldn’t live without her. That memory is among the many happy moments chronicled in a book she wrote about her husband.  Frank died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in 2010.

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“Just to see him just go down, it was really heartbreaking,” said Anne, who still wears her wedding ring.

To honor Frank’s memory, she’s enrolled in a study at Huntington Medical Research Institutes to help local scientists find the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, to diagnose it decades before symptoms appear.

“We have nothing to slow the progress of the disease, but if we can pick it up early, then maybe treatments will work,” said Dr. Mike Harrington with Huntington Medical Research Institutes.

Harrington says the study involves a cognitive assessment, blood and urine samples and a spinal tap, which helps researchers identify proteins that lead to plaque and tangles in the brain.

Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. That’s because people don’t gain brain cells. They are lost with age. Over time, errors in the composition of these cells accumulate, Harrington said.

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