“I have spent my entire career interested in the mysteries of the brain: what it looks like, how it works and what happens when it doesn’t. Alzheimer’s disease has been the primary focus of my professional life, starting as a young researcher looking at brain scans, and leading up to now, as the head of the research program at the Alzheimer’s Association.
It’s also affected me personally. My family gradually noticed my mother-in-law’s declining memory, wandering and confusion in the late 2000s, and, in 2009, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As an expert on the illness, I was able to answer most of my children’s questions about what grandma was experiencing. But an important question that I could not answer straightforwardly was, ‘What can we do about this?'”