Sisters help local community and advance Alzheimer's and dementia research
Paula Peterson and Jill Wulff remember their mom's struggle with Lewy body dementia, the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease. She was easily confused and experienced hallucinations and paranoia. Paula and Jill also remember the family's struggle when their mother experienced symptoms of the condition.
"If it's cancer, people bring over meals," Jill says. "People come and visit or take the person out. But that's not the way it is with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a very lonely and misunderstood disease."
Paula, Jill, their dad and family felt like they were alone. But they knew others in their rural community of Roseau, Minnesota — population 2,627 — were in the same position. So they began a support group for people with loved ones with various dementias and have been meeting monthly for the past 17 years. Here they are given a confidential setting among friends who know and understand what they are going through.
To raise awareness, the group started a fundraising event called Walk to Remember, a nonprofit organization and annual event that now attracts 500 participants each year. The event raises funds for local families affected by dementia and for Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's and dementia research.
Read the sisters' full story on the on the philanthropic site "You Are...the campaign for Mayo Clinic."
- Study offers answers on life expectancy for people with Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia (news release)
- Mayo Clinic Q and A: Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s disease — what’s the difference?
- Mayo Clinic Minute: What is Lewy body dementia?
- New international guidelines issued on dementia with Lewy bodies
Related research at Mayo Clinic:
- Clinicopathologic studies of Lewy Body Disease
- Lewy Body Dementia - Memory Disorders
- Neurobiology of Parkinson's Disease (Role of the Alzheimer's disease protein, Presenilin 1, in Lewy Body diseases)
- Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
- Neurology Research Program (Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia)
- Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease and Endophenotypes
- Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis
- Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease
- Alzheimer's Disease and Inflammation
Related clinical trials at Mayo Clinic: