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Beneficiary

Alzheimer's Research and Care

 

A Caregiver's Journey

 

close up of two people holding handsThis year’s wine auction beneficiary is Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

There is an urgent need to ease the burden on millions of men and women suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This complex and debilitating disease also has a major impact on caregivers and health care costs. If you have a loved one struggling with this disease, a cure cannot come fast enough. The University of Rochester Medical Center is at the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research and care.

How We Help The Rochester Community

Through research, patient care, and education, the University of Rochester is providing hope to patients and families with Alzheimer’s disease in the Rochester community.

Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research, and Education Program

The Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research, and Education Program (AD-CARE) is one of the leading Alzheimer’s clinical research programs in the nation. AD-CARE physicians and their patients have taken part in virtually every pivotal study of potential Alzheimer’s treatments, including several landmark trials. Many of the current drugs were developed and tested here in clinical trials. Our studies often incorporate advanced imaging techniques that can detect and track brain changes decades before the onset of cognitive problems. AD-CARE focuses on preventing Alzheimer’s in high- risk individuals, treating early memory problems or cognitive impairment, improving and validating Alzheimer’s diagnostic tools, and treating behavioral disturbances in persons with dementia.

Care for Patients and Caregivers

Our innovative Memory Care Program was created to meet a vital community need. The program provides a comprehensive and integrated approach to diagnose Alzheimer’s and offers long-term treatment and support for patients and their caregivers that evolves as the disease progresses. It brings together all of the necessary clinical resources and services under one roof, allowing for easier collaboration between our teams. Individuals and families receive services from a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians including specialists in neurology, psychiatry, neuropsychology, social work, and marriage and family therapy. Our services include comprehensive evaluations, guidance on medications and coping strategies, educating patients and families on community resources and support, and informing individuals about opportunities to participate in research studies.

Education

The School of Medicine and Dentistry is preparing the next generation of health care professionals who are educated and ready to take on the challenges of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The Division of Geriatrics & Aging and the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center deliver a variety of critical educational offerings for medical students, residents, and fellows as well as community-based health care professionals. For example, students are provided the tools to interview and assess older adults who have cognitive impairment or dementia. Additionally, all first year medical students visit community nursing homes with a geriatric physician preceptor to evaluate older adults in this setting, something no other medical school is doing.

Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience

The University of Rochester is a national powerhouse in the neurosciences. Patients come from all over the world to receive treatment and care for diseases including Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, and myotonic dystrophy. The Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience brings together internationally recognized brain scientists and outstanding clinicians from more than a dozen departments and centers under one roof. The Institute—established with a $10 million gift from philanthropist Ernest J. Del Monte and his wife, Thelma—fosters collaboration and creates an environment in which scientific innovation can thrive. One of the Institute’s Centers of Excellence is the Rochester Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. This Center is focused on understanding and battling Alzheimer’s disease and related age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, and developing new approaches to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with dementia or prevent its occurrence.

Alzheimer's Gene Test

Read more about Dr. Anton Porsteinsson's GeneMatch DNA test.

Patient Stories

WENDY AND DAVID DWORKINWENDY AND DAVID DWORKIN

Growing up, Wendy Dworkin’s mom, Barbara, did it all. She took care of her family, helped with her husband’s business, held fundraising events, and was known for having a mind like a steel trap. In 2008, she began forgetting things. Her personality and behavior changed and she was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Today, thanks to an assessment and adjustment of her medications by Dr. Anton Porsteinsson, her symptoms have lessened and her relationships with family and friends have improved. Grateful to Dr. Porsteinsson, Wendy and her husband, David, have become advocates for URMC’s AD-CARE program.

We still know where this road will end—because Alzheimer’s disease currently has no cure—but we now have more time to plan and be together. For that, I am eternally grateful to the team at URMC and the generous donors who support their work.
- Wendy Dworkin

 

WILLIAM AND SHEILA KONARWILLIAM AND SHEILA KONAR

William “Bill” Konar and his family knew something wasn’t right when he became confused with directions when driving and experienced difficulty with simple math. Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000 and the disease changed everything in his life. His wife, Sheila, became a caregiver, and they became philanthropists to help other families facing the disease. This included creating an endowed professorship to support research for the treatment and prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Bill passed away in 2015, but Sheila remains committed to fighting the disease.

 

For more information about how your gift to Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care can make an impact or other ways to support the University of Rochester Medical Center, please contact James O'Brien at (585) 276-6877 or james.obrien@rochester.edu.