NAPLES, Fla., April 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Research inspiration and motivation would be gained if Alzheimer's disease scientists were required to meet afflicted seniors, says Leslie Norins, MD, PhD, CEO of Alzheimer's Germ Quest, Inc. He proposes "boot camp" experiential programs be established nationwide in cooperation with local Alzheimer's respite care facilities. He announced his plan on ALZgerm.org.
"Most Alzheimer's disease researchers and grant administrators have never personally spent even a few hours continuously with an Alzheimer's patient. They have textbook knowledge, but little or no realistic experience with how the disease mentally disables seniors," Dr. Norins says.
Why the lack of personal, up-close knowledge? Dr. Norins says it's a consequence of age difference; Alzheimer's develops in seniors, whereas researchers starting out are 25-35.
He formed his idea when he realized how moved he was by the hours he spent recently observing at Naples Senior Center, which provides the main respite care program in his county. "I was informed that the attendees had a wide range of backgrounds, from CEO's to truck drivers. But Alzheimer's had rendered them all almost childlike.
"Fortunately, a kindly staff of professionals and volunteers, led by Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, President and CEO of the Center, was taking care of each individual, providing simple activities."
Dr. Norins says, "I was simultaneously horrified and inspired by observing these valiant but mentally sabotaged folks. I thought, 'We simply must conquer this disease faster'. I believe an exposure similar to mine would increase motivation for every Alzheimer's researcher and administrator across the country."
So, what's the next step? Dr. Norins says, "It's time for Alzheimer's researchers and administrators to venture out of their ivory towers. We're going to try and convince the leading distributors of Alzheimer's research monies, both government and non-government, to set up "boot camp" experiences for their grantees and staffs at respite care centers."
Alzheimer's Germ Quest, Inc., is the sponsor of the $1 million challenge award for the scientist who submits persuasive proof a microbe is the root cause of Alzheimer's disease. The company is an independent, privately held, public benefit corporation. It neither solicits nor accepts donations.