Albert Einstein College of Medicine
The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards: Solicited Articles - Bronze
“Alzheimer’s Disease: Reasons for Hope,” the cover story of Einstein magazine’s Winter/Spring 2022 issue, doesn’t pull any punches about this devastating condition, which affects 6.5 million people age 65 and up in the United States. The article highlights research being conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and its partner institution, Montefiore Medical Center, with the potential to treat or even prevent Alzheimer’s. Those research efforts range from the cellular—speeding up an intracellular “garbage disposal” process in brain neurons—to the clinical—identifying and correcting modifiable risk factors for dementia—to testing whether a diet featuring foods with anti-inflammatory properties can reduce cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease risk. We wanted to paint for readers a realistic picture of Alzheimer’s, a disease that many people are worried about — for themselves as well as their families and friends. We wanted readers to know that researchers at Einstein and Montefiore recognize Alzheimer’s is a major health crisis and are working hard to devise treatments and prevention strategies.
What was the most impactful part of your entry?
We realized that the best way to write a compelling article about Alzheimer’s would be to combine information about scientific research with an anecdote describing someone with Alzheimer’s. The anecdote would provide a welcome contrast to the science and remind readers that Alzheimer’s, above all, is a human tragedy. We knew how challenging it would be to find someone with dementia whom we could profile, but we were aware that the father of our writer — Gary Goldenberg — had died from Alzheimer’s. Fortunately for our article, Gary was willing to write about his father’s Alzheimer’s journey, weaving in the compelling story of his father’s decline.
What challenge did you overcome?
A challenge we faced was how best to describe the many ongoing Einstein research projects that pertain to Alzheimer’s. We decided to spotlight seven projects that seemed most important, either because of their potential payoff for dementia patients and their families or the amount of federal funding involved. Five other research areas were encapsulated in the article “Additional Alzheimer’s Research at Einstein.”