Tonight, the Perpetual Notion Machine wraps up the series of shows devoted to memory. Sometimes memory doesn’t always work according to plan. Bad things can happen like dementia and other diseases like Alzheimer’s. Our guests are Barbara Bendlin, researcher at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and Kari Paterson, Executive Director of the South Central Wisconsin Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s can form in two different ways, the formation of plaques from the buildup of amyloid proteins, and neurofibrillary tangles which occurs inside a brain cell. Barbara mentions that a fairly new brain scanning device called positron emission tomography has been able to detect the accumulation of amyloid proteins. This device and quite a few new studies have great potential in early detection of Alzheimer’s and in preventive treatments. But the main goal is still finding the causes and cure of Alzheimer’s, which Barbara feels will happen. Kari mentions several of as many as 10 symptoms of Alzheimer’s. She also discusses some of the resources and support that the Alzheimer’s Association can provide.
The Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute also does research, including a long-term clinical study known as WRAP. And another source of information and support is the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin.