Breaking News
More () »

Study with Wabanaki elders could help reveal mysteries of Alzheimer's

Wabanaki Health and Wellness is looking into brain health for seniors in the community.

BANGOR, Maine — Alzheimer's research has come a long way, and a new study to understand memory disorders within Indigenous communities is soon to start in Bangor.

The Center for Wabanaki Research, Knowledge, and Innovation is asking questions to further understand the cause and care of memory impairment disorders.

It's all thanks to a $4.4 million dollar grant given by the National Institute on Aging, which will run for the next four years. 

"To ensure our elders are healthy into their aging years, as well as they're able to share those stories and the language and the culture, that is so critically important to us," Lisa Sockabasin, director of programs at Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness, said. "This research is blending both an Indigenous lens of what's important to our communities as well as a scientific lens."

The project is broken down into three parts focusing on evaluating current screenings for brain health, examining how those tools fit within indigenous populations, as well as identifying future needs for the community. 

Rebecca Petrie said this research may give a better glimpse into diagnosis and screening than what was previously available. 

"Many different screening tools are not created for indigenous populations they're created for a general population, so we're really being able to assess how good of a job do they do to be able to diagnose Alzheimer's and other aging related disorders," Petrie said. 

The study will be a launching off point and hopes to continue brain health research at the center in the future, Sockabasin said. 

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories

Before You Leave, Check This Out