Saving the brain

January STEM Café explores breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research

An image of the brainImagine that while walking through your neighborhood you could remember everything about your house – the address, the color, the reflecting ball in your garden – but you couldn’t remember how to get home.

This neurological impairment is called spatial disorientation, and it’s the reason that people with Alzheimer’s disease frequently get lost in their own homes and neighborhoods.

At the next STEM Café, Doug Wallace will share his research into the spatial disorientation observed in Alzheimer’s patients and discuss new therapies and early interventions that could improve the lives of those who are newly diagnosed.

This free talk and discussion with the audience will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Eduardo’s Restaurant, 214 E. Lincoln Hwy. in DeKalb.

Wallace, an associate professor of psychology at NIU, says that patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) frequently get lost in familiar environments, which can lead to episodes of wandering.

Doug Wallace

Doug Wallace

“While spatial disorientation continues to be a critical issue in the management of individuals suffering from AD, limited research has been conducted to examine the neural basis of this symptom,” Wallace says. “My research on spatial disorientation investigates the relationship between neural systems and navigational strategy.”

This event is part of NIU STEM Outreach’s series of monthly STEM Cafés. The events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase from the host restaurant.

The STEM Café series is just one of STEM Outreach’s many engaging events to increase public awareness of the critical role that STEM fields play in today’s rapidly changing world.

For more information, contact Judith Dymond at (815) 753-4751 or jdymond@niu.edu.

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