A few years ago, 73-year-old Michael Gross, from the state of Death, began to realize that something was wrong. “I was confused about the words,” he said. “It kept getting worse.”
But Mr. Gross, the retired head of an advertising agency, was shocked when a doctor suggested a spinal tap to look for proteins that were a sign of Alzheimer’s. He could not have the disease, thought Mr. Gross.
“I said no, not me,” he said.
But he did.
He cried and despaired.
Then he asked. What could he do about it?
He switched to the Mediterranean diet. He started training. He started making crossword puzzles and subscribing to a challenging brain training program. He found in a study of mice that the bright light on their heads helped with Alzheimer’s disease. He bought the light.
The disease continued to develop. Now he can not remember the details of the news while reading.
Mr. Gross, a lifelong fan of the Yankees, was outraged the day he forgot the name of former coach Casey Stengel and decided to keep it in his memory.
“Every day I wake up and say to myself, ‘Casey Stengel, Casey Stengel,'” he says.
Then he forgot the word “spider” – the main part of his Mediterranean food. “For a week I was saying to myself, ‘Sardine, sardine,'” said Mr. Gross.
But what he really wanted was a powerful enough treatment to stop Alzheimer’s in his place.
Mr. Gross saw an ad on Facebook for Lily’s clinical trial. He arrived on Friday morning for a test to see if he was eligible. It consisted of a brain scan containing protein, tau, found in dead brain neurons. If he had very few preferences, he would not be right.