December 28, 2020

Episode 8: Determined

Topic: Determined | Raw Science Film Festival 2020, FINALIST Best Feature Documentary Moderator: Keri Kukral, Raw Science Guests: Director, Melissa Godoy | Producer, Therese Barry-Tanner | Key Subject, Gina Green-Harris | Key Subject, Karen McElwee Description: This podcast explores how a Black community in Milwaukee, led by Gina Green-Harris, is contributing to medical research in a safe, supportive, and innovative way. Karen, a research participant from this community and film protagonist in the film, is also featured in the podcast. Film: Three women at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease offer their brains and bodies to a medical study. After losing their mothers to the disease, these daughters are determined to contribute to the search for a cure. Meanwhile, they anxiously watch for signs of the disease in their own brains. This independent documentary, filmed over five years, intimately shows what happens when human test subjects – who are at high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease – offer their blood, brains, and hearts to conquer it. At the heart of the Alzheimer’s study are the test group participants – middle-aged adults with a deceased or living parent with Alzheimer’s disease. Parental history makes the test group 2.5x more likely to get the disease than those without a history of it in their families. The human research subjects are followed by the scientists for a minimum of 15 to 20 years and undergo periodic and rigorous cognitive tests. The test group also shares one of life’s most difficult trials – a parent’s decline from Alzheimer’s disease. This is a story about the fight to stop Alzheimer’s disease as told by the people with the most on the line. | Length: 35 minutes

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