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Will I Be Next? is about the quest for a cure to Alzheimer’s disease as told by human research subjects in a long-term medical research study.
The documentary 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. Currently, one in nine older adults has Alzheimer’s disease. But the population is aging rapidly, and by 2025 the number of Americans age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to increase by 40 percent – to 7.1 million. Alzheimer’s disease is not normal aging, but rather a fatal disease with no known cure. Since 2001, medical research scientists at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of Wisconsin have been on a mission to figure out how to prevent, and eventually cure, Alzheimer’s disease. The Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP) tracks the characteristics and habits of people at high risk for the disease and observes them in biological detail as they age. Some go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease and some do not.
The film follows the journeys of three human research subjects who have put themselves throughout the rigor of a medical study. The test group also shares one of life’s most difficult trials – a parent’s decline from Alzheimer’s disease. As the researchers compile data from 1,500 participants over the first period of the study, a narrative begins to emerge.
How soon will an answer be found?
Can it be found in time?