Alzheimer's diagnoses go mobile

USF Health Byrd Institute travels Tampa Bay
Posted at 4:30 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 16:30:17-04

Help for your loved ones suffering with memory loss, will now come to your neighborhood.

Experts in the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Mobile Research Suite are now diagnosing hundreds of new cases. You don't have to make an appointment and it's free.

Nancy Baker brought her neighbor to the mobile unit in St. Petersburg for a free exam, minutes from his home.

“He needs to have somebody watch over him and he doesn’t remember what he did yesterday so I know this would be a great test for him to participate in, because I want to get to the bottom of this, does he need to move,” Baker said.

USF Health's Byrd Institute is taking diagnoses on the road. The plan is to go to a different community every week.

“Nobody likes to wait, people are impatient, you get in and you get out, and this is going to be simple and easy,” Baker said.

If you do show signs of Alzheimer's Disease, patients can enroll in trials for new medications and that speeds up research.

“Potentially next week we could be in the Villages, the next week in Lakeland, the next week in Sarasota, and we’re able to bring in all of those research patients to test new medications much quicker," Jill Smith, assistant director for clinical research, said.

On this bus, an exam can be less intimidating.

“I really didn’t want to get a brain scan or anything like that and it can be quite daunting, scary, especially when you’re older," Donna Cotis said.

Now these patients can get the help they need and wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

“Now I know I do need to take a step, and I’m not afraid to do it," Cotis said.

"I’m more secure knowing that he’s going to be okay, I watch over him daily,” Baker said.

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