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We have been privileged to and enjoyed on numerous occasions relating the achievements and distinctions earned by folks from Magnolia and Columbia County.

Once again a local native is achieving distinction and doing it in a way that works toward meeting a critical need.

As reported recently in the Banner-News, Maxson Pittman, son of Mercedes and Jay Pittman of Magnolia, is conducting cutting edge research on Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s, the debilitating disease, which affects an aging population, but also strikes in early-onset cases, is reported to be the sixth leading cause of death in the nation.

Pittman became involved in research of the dreaded disease after graduating from Magnolia High School and the University of Central Arkansas. While attending UCA, Pittman pursued a major in biochemistry because of his interest in earning a degree that would help him enter medical school. He then entered the University of Chicago graduate program and became involved in the PdD program in biochemistry and molecular biophysics.

As part of his studies, Pittman took an Alzheimer’s class that focused on the disease at the molecular level and it was then he knew how he wanted to devote his research.

“Right then,” he said, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

He has a couple of years left in his study at the university and plans to continue his research.

His goal is to be a part of the work to find a way to treat and prevent the disease. “I have a lot of hope as we gather the fundamental knowledge on this disease, especially at the molecular level,” he said. “There’s still a lot of pieces to this puzzle we need to find to help us put this disease together. But I believe the research we’re doing right now can and will lead to a better understanding and perhaps a treatment for this horrible disease.”

We’re proud that a young man from our town is involved in this critical research and we wish him success in his career and efforts to end the suffering and torment of Alzheimer’s disease.

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