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Groundbreaking Study On Alzheimer's Disease Taking Place At UC Irvine

IRVINE ( —A groundbreaking study focusing on Alzheimer's disease is taking place at UC Irvine.

According to doctors, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds.

KCAL9's Michele Gile spoke with Alzheimer's patient, Lucy Lisabeth, who plans to donate her brain to science one day.

Lisabeth was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment at 62. According to doctors, this diagnosis is usually a precursor to developing Alzheimer's disease.

Four years later, she was diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's disease.

"I didn't have any clue that anything was really going on," Lisabeth added

During her diagnosis, Lisabeth lived in Mission Viejo with her husband Roger and taught third grade.

Her husband shared that he noticed back in 2009 that his wife was not remembering things that he said to her.

"It was my telling her what we were going to be doing on the weekend and then having to tell her more than once," Roger Lisabeth said.

"The kids in the class would tell me 'You told us that yesterday' or 'You told us that already,' " Lisabeth added. "I'd say 'Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew.' "

The couple visited UCI Mind, a federally funded Alzheimer's disease research center in Orange County, shortly after discovering her lapse of memory.

Gile also spoke with a researcher who is part of a clinical study at UCI Mind to attempt to one day slow memory loss.

"This is the first step toward developing a prevention for Alzheimer's disease," said Aimee Pierce.

The study, named A4, focuses on people ages 65 to 85. According to researchers, the study also focuses on a protein present in the brain of those with Alzheimer's disease.

"We know the biggest risk factor is age and our population is aging," Pierce said. "We really need to prevent Alzheimer's disease, treat it as well, but prevention is going to be the key."

Roger and Lucy Lisabeth hope that others will assist in funding UCI Mind in their important research.

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