The Ultimate Cruel Irony: Alzheimer’s Researcher Has Alzheimer’s

What happens when a seeker of a cure for a dreaded disease becomes a victim of that disease?

It’s the cruelest irony imaginable. A quest that moves out of the scientific and into the personal. And a race against time.

That’s the situation in which Rae Lyn Burke finds herself.

Rae Lyn Burke is a noted researcher. After helping to develop vaccines for HIV, herpes, and hepatitis B, she turned her attention, in the 1990’s, to a newly-emerging disease that had started claiming seniors at an alarming rate – Alzheimer’s.

She helped develop an experimental drug called bapineuzumab, which helps clear the plaque in the brain that scientists believe can precipitate Alzheimer’s. And her early work with mice was encouraging enough, in her mind, to presage beneficial applications for Alzheimer’s patients.

Rae Lyn Burke didn’t only “work” at a desk. She was a 24/7 thinking-machine, the kind of person whose mind never stopped; for example, she loved to play with numbers in her head while commuting. And it was while playing those games that she began to realize something was wrong.

In 2008, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Now – at the age of 64 – even the easiest math problems are impossible for her. And she struggles with simple household tasks.

Burke, however, is still searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s…the only way she now can. Every three months she receives bapineuzumab…the drug she helped create.

She believes the drug is slowing the progress of her disease. But it’s not curing it.

She still has enough mental acuity to realize what she’s lost…and what she’s going to lose.

It’s a fate that could happen to any of us…or a family member. But you don’t have to face it alone.

At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we practice Elder Law – and only Elder Law. Over the past 33 years, we’ve walked thousands of South Florida families through the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Journey. And we’ve helped them prepare in advance for it, as well, with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.

The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Journey isn’t an easy one. But we know the way. And we’re just a phone call away.

The Ultimate Cruel Irony: Alzheimer’s Researcher Has Alzheimer’s

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