Features

Seniors get lowdown on brain-fade

... MGH research scientist talks about MRI, catscan, alzheimers ...

from the SilverStringers



Some 50 seniors filled the upstairs lecture hall at the Milano Center in late
February, ostensibly to learn about their future. The speaker was research
scientist Dr. David Salat from the Mass General Hospital's Department of
Radiology, presenting a 90-minute lecture on the aging of the human brain.

His speech was, in essence, an effort to sign up seniors for a continuing
research program on causes and implications of age on the human brain. Much of
what he talked about was highly technical, introducing his audience to the
parts and functions of our brain -- and what happens to it as we grow older.

His talk was interrupted continually with questions from the audience, anxious
to get answers to personal associations ... "My mother and a cousin had
Alzheimers," one woman asked, "and I want to know the chances of my being
struck in my advancing years." The speaker was forced to abandon his prepared
lecture when faced with many similar questions on aging.

While the lecture was informative, in the end was a strong encouragement to
participate in the MGH research program, which involves regular visits to the
hospital, brain scans, various memory tests -- all of which take a matter of
several months. Participants are paid some $425 plus expenses.


March 1, 2013


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