GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013 - (Page 34-35)

grandparent health My aging brain Participating in meaningful medical research Why am I here? I ask myself. sibly prevent Alzheimer’s before their parents (or they) The study is being conducted at a research center run reach the grand years. by the Massachusetts General Hospital. It is a beehive “Only in the last decade have we learned how to di- of activity. Sperling and her staff are investigating what agnose Alzheimer’s in patients while they are alive,” causes brain decline, and their key focus is Alzheimer’s says Sperling. “Our next goal is prevention.” disease. I am taking part in this five-year study, during My visits to the HABS research center are actually which I and the other 299 participants will have eight “R brain scans, substantial memory and thinking tests, like sophisticated brainteaser games. Staff members neurological examinations, and blood analysis. By RoBeRt St. GeRMAin fun. The cognitive testing is quite challenging and much are delightfully friendly and always willing to answer my many questions. Throughout the study I have felt emember the reason you do the research,” reads Science, and in particular medical science, has al- the quote on the office wall of Dr. Reisa Sperling, ways held a fascination for me, but I chose a different amazingly safe—so safe, in fact, that I volunteered the principal investigator of the Harvard Aging career path, in business. Now, in my first year of re- for the optional spinal tap, which turned out to be less tirement, I am part of real science, and it comes with painful than a normal blood test. Brain Study (HABS). the added benefit of a lot of free medical tests that will alert me if something is wrong. Most important, Rob St. Germain is occupying some of his grand time with freelance writing. A retired management consultant, he lives in Ashland, Massachusetts. though, it is a chance to help, to both give back and pay forward, to help fight the horrible scourge of Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia that have attacked both family and friends. It is also an opportunity to help my grandkids by finding out how to treat and pos- 34 GRAND MAY JUNE 2013 I asked Tamy-Fee Meneide, the study coordinator, about the extraordinary quality of the care. “It’s simple: You are our family, our grandparents. * We could not do this without you,” she said. Read Rob’s extended article on the Harvard Aging Brain Study. MAY JUNE 2013 GRAND 35

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013

GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013
Slaying Dragons
You’ve Come a Long Way, Granny
Electrical Safety
Let’s Pretend
The Grandest Gift
Born Free’s Virginia McKenna
My Aging Brain
Judy Cockerton: Foster parent and innovator
10 Best Story Books for Babies & Toddlers
Grand Expectations
Fun Toys for Kids of All Ages
Annuities Simplified
News, Products, Tips, and Resources for Today’s Grandparents
Sure Cure for Senior-Time Blues
It’s a Wonderful Life
When a Child Is Removed from the Parents’ Home

GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013