It's been early four decades since I accepted a leadership role at the then-brand-new Clinic for Alzheimer disease and Related Disorders at UBC. It was a big step in BC’s approach to Alzheimer research, diagnosis and care—the first and only clinic of its kind in the province.
Since then, the world has gained invaluable understanding into Alzheimer disease and other dementias. I’m proud that some of that understanding originated in our clinic, and in other UBC labs. Today, we’re better at diagnosing dementia in living patients. We’re clearer on the genetic factors behind these diseases, and know what lifestyle choices people can make to lessen the diseases’ effects. We’re better able to support the people caring for patients with Alzheimer disease.
In these nearly forty years, we have seen some progress. But unfortunately it’s not nearly enough.
Until we have a disease-modifying intervention—or, even better, a cure—we will be unable to reduce the devastation of a dementia diagnosis to the sufferers themselves, and to their loved ones. The CLEAR team has seen this devastation far too often, many of us in our own families. That’s why we volunteer our time to help CLEAR realize its vision: a world in which no one has to suffer the indignities of Alzheimer and other forms of dementia.
We know the only way to get there is through more research—leading-edge studies specifically geared towards preventing, treating and ultimately curing all forms of dementia. As President of CLEAR, I’m proud of the work we’re doing to fund this vital research. I’m also proud that our overhead costs are entirely covered by investment income and donations from our Board of Directors, which allows us to direct every penny of every dollar raised to promising research.
Because every cent counts—and every moment counts—in this universal race to stop Alzheimer disease and its related disorders in their tracks. There is hope. Help us make it happen.
Dr. B. Lynn Beattie, CM, MD, FRCPC
President, CLEAR Foundation
Division of Geriatric Medicine
Department of Medicine, UBC