At 81, Alberta Sabin’s mind is not as sharp as it used to be, and she knows it. She frequently misplaces common items, forgets names and appointments, some of the most frustrating aspects of memory loss, she says. “I had been looking for my cell phone for three days and would you believe I found it laying on the counter in plain sight?” Sabin says. “There it was and I thought, why didn’t I see it before?”
It is that frustration that motivated Sabin to participate in University of Michigan-sponsored research designed to better diagnose and treat dementia before it escalates.
Sabin is one of millions of Americans who experience memory loss and may eventually be diagnosed with dementia. “This is an explosive disease,” says Sid Gilman, M.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at University of Michigan Health System, who conducts research with Sabin and others in her community. “It’s a disease that robs people of their humanity. They forget their families and friends.”