Georgetown’s Alzheimer’s clinic marks 20 years, but hopes research can make it obsolete.

The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation recognizes the impact that GAP-Net site Georgetown University Medical Center’s Memory Disorders Program has had on Alzheimer’s disease research. We congratulate them on their 20 years of dedication and service to the field.

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — It’s estimated that one in 10 people 65 and over has Alzheimer’s disease. That’s nearly 6 million Americans.

There is promising research on the horizon, though, thanks in part to a local clinic celebrating it’s 20th year working towards a cure.

At Georgetown University Medical Center’s “memory disorders program,” they are marking 20 years of research, education and hope.
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“We wouldn’t be in this field if we didn’t believe that we could make a difference or as I often tell people that we’ll put ourselves out of business for all the right reasons,” says program coordinator Carolyn Ward.

Ward has been here since the beginning, guiding families through the challenging experience of memory loss, diagnosis and what to do next. 

“It’s meaningful to work with families who are going through this journey, the care giving journey,” she says.

Hundreds of people have participated in studies at the Georgetown memory disorders clinic in the last 20 years. They have at least five new studies every year. Ward has seen many changes in that time.

“I think there’s more awareness of the disease, there’s still stigma attached at times, but less than when we started.”

The Alzheimer’s Association calls it a crisis – 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050. This number could rise to 14 million. But Ward says, while there is no cure on the horizon, research is promising.

“The hope is, we seem to be approaching a time where we may have medications, which are disease-modifying, which may actually make a difference. We’re not there yet but we’re certainly working towards it and that’s very exciting.”

Their focus continues to be research, and again, those who work at Georgetown memory clinic hope to one day need to find a new job because they’ve found a cure.

If you are concerned about your memory or would like more information, call Georgetown University Medical Center’s Memory Disorders Program at 202-784-6671 or go to their website https://memory.georgetown.edu.

Originally posted on ABC7 WJLA on January 16, 2020.