Saturday, 26 November 2011

Memory and concentration study

When I went and saw my GP the other day (re the letter) he asked if I wanted to take part in a new study they were getting ready to do at the medical centre there. I'm always willing to give something back after all the help I've gotten, so happily agreed to do it. He gave me the info forms to look at with the consent form to sign on the back. I was texted a couple of days later by one of the people upstairs as to whether I was wanting to participate, and as I was she made an appt for me on Mon to go in. I see a doctor downstairs at the centre first who is in charge of trials, and then go upstairs after that. 

The study is to 
"Help to better understand how common some memory and concentration difficulties are in persons who are HIV positive and to develop better ways of testing for these problems in the community."
Monday will be a "baseline visit" to see where I'm at currently in the head. I guess that involves looking at my medical history as well, particularly the brain injury at the beginning of this year. This visit is about an hour. I will have another one in 6 months. Also some people chosen at random will do further testing of about 2 hours.

It's all free of course. I'd be interested anyway to find out sort of where my head is at the moment. I still notice at times I can't do things like I used to. Complex tasks involving my brain are just overwhelming, and I have to break things down into little bits at a time. I can't figure out money at all, I get really confused with change for example. But in the grand scheme of things I may not directly benefit from the study myself, but the information gained would have a longer term benefit to the wider HIV community. Namely, greater knowledge about how HIV affects the brain.

The study will go for 2 years, so I imagine by that time they'd be able to test quite a few people. The results will be published in scientific journals and other forums. I will be able to receive the results as well if I want.

Simon has been in touch via email. I think that's a good way to communicate at the moment as it gives plenty of time to think and reply. We're going to see each other on Tuesday as he's in Sydney at the moment helping out his friend who's broken her ankle. Just a pub thing, a couple of afternoon beers. Not sure how I'm going to feel seeing him again. I've told him in the emails that although I wasn't angry at all, I was hurt by what he said. And it's all very well to say sorry now but obviously he meant it when he said it. But again it's nobody's fault, we're just on very different pages. And we did have very good times together.

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