Researchers at UWF are working hard for Alzheimer’s patients


PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The month of November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and researchers at the University of West Florida are working hard to not only improve the quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s, but are also researching ways to detect the disease earlier in a patient’s life.

Dr. James Arruda is investigating a known precursor to Alzheimer’s called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). In his study, Arruda researches patients with MCI to see how fast their brain reacts.

“We present an individual with a strobe flash, and we are able to record in real time the reaction of the brain to that flash,” Arruda said.

Past research has shown that the reaction time for Alzheimer’s patients to the flash of light is distinctively slow. This project is trying to determine if this link can be made for patients with MCI as well. This could help diagnose patients with MCI as well as work to catch Alzheimer’s disease earlier in its progression.

Dr. Crystal Bennett is working on a project to help Alzheimer’s patients improve their quality of life through the method of dance. This was inspired by her mother who passed away from Alzheimer’s but was always put in a better mood by dancing to Elvis music. They do two hours of dance every week with music of Latin origin, Country, Jazz and music from the ’40s and ’50s. The results so far have been promising in that dance looks to improve caregivers as well as patients mood. 

Check out the video for more details!

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