The Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders Unit launched the celebration of its 10th Anniversary Campaign with a gala.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders (FTD) Unit launched the celebration of its 10th Anniversary Campaign with a gala event held at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Oct. 20, 2017. The evening, named “A Night With the Arts for FTD,” featured a patient and caregiver-centered art show, live ballet performance, auctions and presentations from FTD Unit staff.

Katie Brandt, director of Caregiver Support Services for the Mass General FTD Unit, emceed its recent gala.
Katie Brandt, director of Caregiver Support Services for the Mass General FTD Unit, emceed its recent gala.

With more than 250 attendees, the guest list included patients, families, staff, students, colleagues and supporters of the clinical care and research programs spearheaded by Brad Dickerson, MD, the FTD Unit’s director.

Care Beyond the Clinic

Frontotemporal degeneration is a progressive neurological disorder. Individuals with FTD may experience difficulties communicating and making decisions. They may also behave in socially inappropriate ways. In the end, FTD causes dementia and can make it impossible for the person to function independently, including being unable to speak, walk or swallow. Currently, there is no treatment to slow or stop the progression.

The Mass General FTD Unit is a clinical-research program committed to providing the highest level of care to our patients and families. In the past decade, its interdisciplinary team of clinicians has cared for more than 500 patients with frontotemporal degeneration and related disorders including behavioral variant FTD, primary progressive aphasia, atypical Alzheimer’s and ALS. Patient and caregiver-centered programming is not limited to the confines of the clinic space with community-based support groups, educational days and advocacy events as a keystone of the unit’s services.

The FTD Unit was cofounded in 2007 by speech language pathologist Daisy Hochberg and Brad Dickerson, MD, its director.
The FTD Unit was cofounded in 2007 by speech language pathologist Daisy Hochberg and Brad Dickerson, MD, its director.

Seed Funding Through Philanthropy

“Our community events raise awareness, funds and hope that the cure of tomorrow is not so far from the care of today,” said Katie Brandt, director of Caregiver Support Services and emcee for the event.

Dr. Dickerson noted the power of philanthropic dollars to provide seed funding for innovative research and programming that can establish early data and leverage larger grants and federal support for projects within the unit.

“As we celebrate our 10th year anniversary,” Dr. Dickerson said, “I look back and recognize that we are in the strongest position we have ever been in our fight against FTD and related conditions, and it is thanks to the resilience and support of our patient and family community.”

To support the Mass General FTD Unit’s 10th Anniversary Campaign, please visit our website.

To learn more about FTD clinical care and research programs at Mass General, please contact us.