Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Alzheimer's Study

I received information on this study from a dear family friend who is working on providing my mom the opportunity to be part of this new study. Below is the exciting news article from Fox News Australia:

A patient with Alzheimer's disease had their condition improve hugely just minutes after receiving a special injection of a prescription drug approved to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, according to a new study.The drug, co-marketed in the U.S. by Amgen and Wyeth under the name Enbrel, dramatically reversed symptoms of an Alzheimer's disease sufferer minutes after it was injected into the patient's spine, researchers in the U.S. discovered. The drug, sold in Australia as Etanercept, has also been used off-label for treating Alzheimer's.A report on the new study appeared in the Journal of Neuroinflammation this week.

Click here for the full study <http://www.jneuroinflammation.com/content/5/1/3>

Journal editor Professor Sue Griffin from the University of Arkansas said the study was an "exciting" breakthrough, which provided a greater understanding of the disease. "It is unprecedented that we can see cognitive and behavioral improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention," Griffin said."This gives all of us in Alzheimer's research a tremendous new clue about new avenues of research, which is so exciting and so needed in the field of Alzheimer's.

"Even though this report predominantly discusses a single patient, it is of significant scientific interest because of the potential insight it may give into the processes involved in the brain dysfunction of Alzheimer's."Professor Edward Tobinick from the University of California and Professor Hyman Gross from the University of Southern California made the discovery while treating a patient who developed Alzheimer's disease later in life."The efficacy of (Enbrel) . delivered by perispinal administration, for treatment of Alzheimer's disease over a period of six months has been previously reported in a pilot study," the researchers said."(But) this report details rapid cognitive improvement, beginning within minutes, using this same. treatment modality, in a patient with late-onset Alzheimer's disease."

New Job

Dear Friends and Family,

I am ecstatic, pretty much bouncing off the walls, with great news! I have a new job as a full-time nanny for a family in Dallas. They have two sweet children named Luke (2 1/2) and Emerson "Emme" (9 mo.). As many of you know, my past year with Walgreens in Dallas has not been the greatest situation. However, through it, I have learned a lot about myself. I can honestly say it has made me a better person and made my marriage stronger, too. If that was all God wanted to use the experience for, then it was worth it! Each of you has been so diligent to offer encouragement to me, and I thank you for your love and support! I look forward to sharing this next chapter with you as I pursue my passion for children.

Much Love,

Mare

Thoughts About My Mom

What would you do if you felt like you didn't have any friends? After being diagnosed with Alzheimers, my once social mom lost her ability to carry on conversations. I have never realized how much conversation affects our relationships until I witnessed my mom's inability to participate in this activity we take for granted.

So why after five years of my mom's diagnosed illness am I just now allowing myself to vent my frustrations? Well, there is a possibility of my mom regaining her memory with the help of a team of doctors who created a new study using an anti-inflammatory injection used to treat arthritis. If my mom's results are similar to other patients who have participated, she could regain all of her independence, including the ability to carry on a conversation with memory of what was discussed. While my siblings and I are excited about this possibility, it also makes us worried that her alertness will come with a consequence. What if she realizes that she has not seen or talked to many of her friends in months or years? Will she pick up where she left off, or have to start the friendships anew?

I understand that my mom's disease is very different from cancer, a heart attack, or even surgury. People don't know how to react to uncomfortable situations and it is uncomfortable when someone you have know for a long time does not act exactly the same. How do her friends think her husband and children feel? We have watched our mom change and learned to love her and take care of her how she needs to be in order to cope daily. I have learned how much it would mean to my mom for someone to surprise her with a trip to get ice cream, take her to Target to shop, or even to Terry Lynn's to get a Sharron Special and piece of pecan pie.

I am sad because I know she remembers her friend's and that she hasn't talked to them in a long time. I am thankful for my Auntie Joye and her committment to take care of her Sunshine no matter what the circumstance. My dad has modeled what a faithful husband looks like as he takes blow dries, straightens and styles my moms hair, applies her makeup, gets her dressed, takes her for her bi-weekly manicure, gives her morning and nighttime meds., and makes sure she eats three meals a day. Bottom line, I am thankful that it has brought my family closer, and I hope my mom realizes how much she is loved.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trip to Little Rock

With Reid traveling and my nasty work schedule I decided it was time to take a trip home to Little Rock. With Thanksgiving marking my last visit and May 29 being the next, this seemed like a good in-between option. This is only the third time I have traveled back to Little Rock without Reid and I am so excited for the next two days to hang out with my family!

Because my first night home has been so eventful, I decided to make a "top five" list of reasons to visit more often:

5. Was reintroduced to my old room (now Mimi's room) by my dad showing off the satellite cable. My response was the all too familiar, "Oh thanks, now that I'm gone."

4. My parents fourth child, Toby, barking at me and then hiding under the bed upon my arrival.

3. My dad forgetting how to get home from the Little Rock airport. Yes, he has lived in Little Rock his whole life and the route home has never changed.

2. Dad parking in a clearly marked handicapped spot at the airport and having to talk his way out of a $250 fine after claiming he didn't see the huge blue square painted on the lane. If you know my dad you'll know it put him in a great mood.

1. My mom wearing her beautiful fur coat with Uggs to pick me up. Dad and I are having a conference about what mom can and can't wear in public. A full-length fur coat and Uggs is typical in Arkansas, but a NO in our family!

And this one is my favorite:
***My mom thanking me for admiring her fur coat when I told her her new hair-do looked cute. HA!

First Anniversary!


Reid and I are shocked that we are no longer newlyweds! We decided that no matter how old we are, we always want people to look at us and think/say, "My, that couple is so in love." It is amazing how much love can grow even after dating for seven years.

For our anniversary weekend, Reid planned a night at the W Hotel in downtown Dallas. Reid had just completed his first week of work on a new project in Mexico City and it was a much needed weekend of relaxation! We ate our wedding cake, and thanks to Janice Almefty, Aunt Christina, and Reid's Mom, Debra, the cake tasted just a fresh as the day we were married!

We look forward to sharing many more years with you!