// News Entry

Fall 2012

Participant Interview: Susan Joseph

Q:  What led you to choose to participate in research with the Mount Sinai ADRC?

My friend Mitch had been involved in research at the James J. Peter VA Medical Center and found out about the studies being done at Mount Sinai. So we came in as a team and were asked to take part in the program, which includes brain studies and verbal tests for memory, and the idea made a lot of sense to both of us.

Q:  Tell us  about your experience as a research participant.

I am very impressed by the professionalism and competence of the ADRC staff, as they have been supportive and helpful every step of the way. Staff members have scheduled appointments with our needs in mind and have made reminder calls. Coordinators are knowledgeable, polite, and respectful of our concerns.

Q:  You had a spinal tap performed. Were you comfortable having this procedure?

What got me feeling confident was the stated assurance that this procedure poses no risk of paralysis. I understood that the neurologist, Dr. Goldstein, who performed the spinal tap, was a highly qualified and experienced physician. I was further reassured by Mt. Sinai’s excellent reputation and by the fact that the hospital would handle any problems that might arise. Additionally, arrangements were made to make the experience as comfortable and convenient as possible.

Q:  Was the spinal tap painful?

No. What was unpleasant was the awkward “fetal” position I had to maintain—sitting on the side of the bed, my back stretching forward, my face resting on two pillows in my lap. The procedure took around 45 minutes. Dr. Goldstein explained that he could speed it up by using a bigger needle. But the larger the needle, the more likely I would be to have a headache afterward. Understanding the reason for going slow gave me the patience to remain still for the duration.

Q:  Would you recommend research participation to others?

Yes. Taking part in an investigation of the mental and physical factors that may help researchers identify the causes and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and its treatment, is a way of contributing to society. As Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease, it is important for all of us to help with research, and I would certainly recommend participating with the ADRC to anyone interested in this field of research.

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