UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging looking for volunteers

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Do you have moments when you can't put a name with a face? Or, you forget where you put something?

At UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, they are working on memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. (WKYT)

And as you get older, that becomes worse? When is it time to worry about memory loss?

At UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, they are working on
memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.

Thousands of volunteers are playing a key role in finding answers.

"You do wonder, is this normal for my age?, asked Lee Edgerton. "Is this a sign that there is some deterioration?"

For 36-years Edgerton taught classes at UK's Agriculture Department.

Nine years ago, he retired.

The 77-year-old now volunteers for research studies at Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

His memory is very good, but he remembers his mother who lived to be 97, struggling later in life.

"She might not be able to tell you what she had eaten, she might not even remember if she had eaten a half hour ago, so where there was that rather dramatic short term memory loss, but things from years ago we're still fixed in the mind."

Dr. Greg Jicha is a professor of neurology and specializes in dementia.

"Big red flags are frequent repeating the same questions over and over again. Number two, disorientation of a month, somebody who comes in today in January, and tells me it's April, there's a real problem there, and the third is financial mistakes, double paid bills, unpaid bills. The electricity being turned off," Dr. Jicha said. "These are real red flags that real people encounter in the real world, and tell us there's likely a real problem here."

Volunteers at Sanders-Brown do as little as a few hours a year to help research, but the contribution is significant.

"What we're looking for is a cure and without participants like Dr. Edgerton we would not be where we are today, and we certainly wouldn't be where we're going tomorrow," Dr. Jicha said.

Edgerton agrees.

"I feel like if it doesn't benefit me personally, it'll benefit my children and my grandchildren, and generations to come," Edgerton said.

If you'd like to volunteer for a study at Sanders-Brown, you can call this number, 859-323-5550, or click here to go to the website for UK Alzheimer's Disease Study at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

They are looking for people with normal memory, and those who are experiencing some challenges.