Rhode Island Hospital nominates 5 trial participants for national Alzheimer’s awards

RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL’S Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center has nominated five people for national awards based on their dedication to clinical trials focused on finding treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s disease. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL

PROVIDENCE – Five people who have racked up years of participation in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease treatments at Rhode Island Hospital are in the running for national recognition.

The hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center nominated the group for the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation’s 2020 National Citizen Scientists Awards.

The foundation recognizes clinical trial volunteers annually from more than 80 affiliated Alzheimer’s research centers across North America. Award winners will be announced in about two weeks.

 

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Those nominated by Rhode Island Hospital are:

  • Ann Bellotti, of Warwick – the Champion Award.
  • Barbara Costa, of Tiverton – the Cornerstone Award.
  • Kate Lowell, of Coventry – the Collaborator Award.
  • Michael Russo, of Scituate – the Cornerstone Award.
  • Robert Lovinger, of Norton – the Cornerstone Award.

Despite an Alzheimer’s diagnosis four years ago, Bellotti continues to volunteer at the historical society and take part in a monthly book club along with her participation in clinical trials.

“It keeps me on my toes,” she said of her involvement in Alzheimer’s research.

Costa, a former nurse, has participated in four trials so far.

“I’m more likely to get it because my mother had it, and I also have years of medical experience, so I will continue to serve as long as it takes,” she said.

Lowell faithfully accompanies her father, who has Alzheimer’s, as he participates in trials.

“As crazy as it sounds, it’s an enjoyable moment for Dad and me to hang out, and, best of all, he likes going,” she said.

Russo has a family history of the disease, as well. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis for his father and brother prompted him to take part in three trials so far.

“I don’t want to deny research a single damn thing. It’s too important,” he said.

Lovinger uses his skill as a former grant writer to help bring in funding for the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. To date, he has participated in three clinical trials.

“After retiring, I felt more acutely than ever the desire to volunteer and be part of something larger than myself,” Lovinger said.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.

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