Preventing Memory Loss
June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. A unique research study at Kessler Foundation, made possible by donors like you, seeks ways to prevent memory loss and reverse impairments for those living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Approximately 40 percent of people aged 65 and older in the US—16 million people—experience age-associated cognitive impairments, like memory loss and dementia. “It’s a very big issue,” says Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of The Centers for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research and Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation. Your generosity allows Dr. Chiaravalloti and her team to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment to keep the brain healthy and potentially reverse cognitive impairments.
With support from donors like you, Dr. Chiaravalloti developed a memory training technique called the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) that teaches people to use context and imagery to learn and remember information in daily life. The team is studying mSMT in older adults. Researchers will compare memory and new learning abilities in healthy older adults to those of older adults living with mild cognitive impairment.
"We know that as we age, our ability to remember declines, a process that adversely affects our daily lives. This raises important questions: Can mSMT help older adults? Could this low-cost, noninvasive treatment help people minimize age-related loss of cognitive function? If we find that mSMT is effective in this population, this could be an important step toward maintaining quality of life for older adults," Dr. Chiaravalloti explains.
"Our goal is improved memory for older adults," says Dr. Chiaravalloti. "We want to find ways to maintain brain health and reverse cognitive decline as we age. Combating these challenges of aging is an exciting prospect that we are eager to explore."
Thanks to you, this important research is possible.
Vice President and Chief Development Officer
P.S. Your generosity has made a difference, allowing us to study memory loss in older adults. Your continued support will further advance this research for people in need now.