When Phil Kreitner’s wife Sherril Gelmon comes home and asks what he did all day, he has to pause to think. It’s hard enough to remember what he did five minutes ago. And where he keeps the different cereals he likes to mix in the morning.
Kreitner, 72, of Portland, Oregon, is one of many aging Americans living with mild cognitive impairment, a condition marked by memory impairment that may progress into the more severe Alzheimer’s disease. He’s participating in a clinical trial aimed at testing a treatment for dementia, and believes furthering research is critical for combating the brain disease.
"I walk around all [expletive] day telling myself ‘Why can’t you remember that? You’ve got to remember that! Why aren’t you remembering that? How can you try to remember that?’ ” says Kreitner, who was the subject of a CNN profile in 2011.
He’s excited that the Obama administration has committed to investing in more clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, with the goal of effective treatment and prevention by 2025. But when that deadline arrives, Kreitner isn’t sure he’ll still be around – he may not live to see the benefits of that research.
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