Greenwich woman honors her loved ones by participating in brain research studies
June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, and a Greenwich woman is honoring the family she's lost to Alzheimer's and dementia by participating in brain research.
Ginge Cabrera says she lost her grandmother when she was in middle school to Alzheimer's and had to relive that pain when she lost her mother to Alzheimer's disease decades later.
Cabrera chairs the board for the Connecticut Alzheimer's Association and recently participated in her first Alzheimer's study. She is encouraging others to do the same.
Dr. Carolyn Fredericks at Yale's Fredericks Lab says the study explored brain activity in rarer forms of Alzheimer's that affect speech or spatial reasoning, instead of memory.
"To help us understand how these less common forms evolve over time, what they look like, so we can include those patients more easily in drug trials, and in treatments,” said Fredericks.
As part of the healthy brain control group, Cabrera says the study involved a series of simple tests while she lay in an MRI machine. She says researchers always need more healthy brain data for comparison and eventually to find a cure.
"The only way to crack the code is through trials, is through these sorts of studies,” said Cabrera.
The Fredericks Lab's next study is hoping to help understand why women are at greater risk than men for Alzheimer's and dementia. To find studies you're eligible for you can find TrialMatch at the Alzheimer's Association's website.