Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Tampa Date

FlyLady talks about husbands as "DH". This morning DH had another MRI to compare with the MRI he had in Lakeland December 2008. I did not sleep well last night, but wonderfully there was no problem getting him to go to this appointment and he drove with the use of his GNS. His MRI was at the University Diagnostic Institute on USF's campus just south of the Johnny Byrd Alzheimer's Institute. We had a little time to kill until our next appointment and we went to a bookstore where DH got two DVDs and I got Phillip Gulley's Home Town Tales.

We walked up that same winding path as we did on Tuesday. At 11:30 we met with 30 others for a tour* of the Johnny Byrd Alzheimer's Institute. Built two years ago this six story building is the largest Alzheimer's research facility in the world.

The 32 of us divided into two groups. We first toured the diagnostic part on the first floor where a team of psychiatrists, neurologists, gerontologists and neuropsychologist have their offices.

The tour groups traded floors and we saw the research part on the third and fourth floors. An open floor plan allows for a cross-pollination of ideas. The basement houses 5000 mice for the research, but we were not allowed to see that--we might infect the mice! The fifth and sixth floors are for further expansion.

Back to the ground floor we were treated to lunch and an LCD slide presentation and talk by Dr. David Morgan, Byrd's CEO. Here are part of my notes:

• Early Onset Alzheimer's is inherited, but not the later stages. So DH's adult children do not have to worry they will inherit this disease.
• 10% of the population over age 65 has dementia. 40% of the population over 85 has dementia.
• West Virginia has the highest per cent of dementia in the states because the young people have left that state for jobs elsewhere.
• In Florida there is $12 billion in health care costs for dementia per year.
• The Amyloid Hypothesis was developed around 1990. Mice are being give anti-amyloid vaccines and with success.
• The Tau Filaments Tangle Hypothesis came around 2000.
RN1219 reduces plaque and improved cognitive function.
• While most of dementia is Alzheimer's, by a process of elimination Byrd is able to find out if DH has a reversible dementia or a problem of another nature. This is what we will find out on September 7th.
• Bryd also does research studies with caregivers.
PET neuroimaging can detect who has amyloid prior to the onset of symptoms. Would people want to know?
Dr. Morgan said we are on the verge of preventing dementia by discovering who is at risk.
• Aluminum is not a significant cause of Alzheimer's.
Axona is a prescription that one can get and this can help. I will look into this.
• Dementia happens at a later stage of Parkinson's disease.
• I asked about coconut oil and MCT and research is being done on these--but he wouldn't say much. He has met Dr. Mary Newport.

Do not hesitate to take this tour (see dates below). It was incredible to me that DH and I did this tour together. He has asked me tonight about what we did today and I said we were at an exciting research institute that will be diagnosing his dementia. Furthermore he may be able to get in a research study.

Thank you, Lord, that I felt so free at last!  Today DH and I actually communicated about his dementia! Maybe I can get some rest tonight! 

*The next tours are Sept. 21, Oct. 26, Nov. 18 and Dec. 14th. Contact Holly Lisle at
Also, November 16th you can sign up for a free 30 minute memory evaluation by calling 813-974-1294.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful facility.... I just hope and pray so fervently that something will be developed to stop the deterioration of the brain.

    We tried Axona for 4 or 5 months, but we/I couldn't see any change, so the doctor said to stop using it. Each person is different though, and maybe it will help your husband.

    I send my thoughts and prayers your way!