The Azienda Servizi alla Persona (ASP) Golgi Redaelli di Milano (ASP Golgi Redaelli) is a public enterprise which runs three centres specialising in care of the elderly (the Golgi Institute in Abbiategrasso and two Redaelli Institutes, one in Milan and one in Vimodrone). Together, they have a total of 1,500 beds and offer both rehabilitation care and residential nursing care. They also have specialist units for patients with dementia, patients in a persistent vegetative state, and the terminally ill.
The Fondazione “Cenci Gallingani” (Cenci-Gallingani Foundation) in Cesano Boscone (province of Milan) was created following the decision of a local entrepreneur to donate his lifetime’s wealth to the development of care services for the elderly, particularly people with dementia. The Cenci-Gallingani Foundation has already set up initiatives both in the field of healthcare and assistance services (the Villa Sormani day centre, in collaboration with the Istituto Sacra Famiglia) and in the research setting (investigating the quality of relationships in nursing homes in collaboration with the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan).
WHY SET UP A BRAIN AGEING RESEARCH CENTRE AT THE GOLGI INSTITUTE IN ABBIATEGRASSO?
The C. Golgi Geriatric Institute has an inpatient department for neuromotor rehabilitation, an Alzheimer’s disease unit for temporary stays, and two residential units for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as several other units providing residential and nursing care. It also offers home nursing and physiotherapy services in the Abbiategrasso area. Last but certainly not least, it also has an Alzheimer’s disease assessment unit.
The main reasons for choosing to set up a research centre at the Golgi Institute can be summarised in the following points:
- The Golgi Institute is a setting that allows the healthcare and support provided to a large population of elderly people, followed up for extended periods of time, to be combined with the observation, study and research activities that are normally carried out in specialist clinical facilities which care for only small numbers of patients for short periods of time. The Institute therefore offers the possibility of studying large series of cases and this is extremely valuable for obtaining a new and broader statistical and epidemiological picture of the syndromes under investigation.
- The Institute boasts an excellent tradition of care and services for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia patients (especially in the severe stages), which can be exploited to these same ends.
- The setting lends itself to further development of the medical team’s research interests and activities in the fields of scientific publishing, education and information, for which they are already renowned in Italy and which bear witness to their general motivation and sensitivity to research issues in this field.
- The Institute has a “Golgi Collection” and also the prestige deriving from its association with Italy’s first Nobel prize winner, Camillo Golgi, who was head physician here from 1873 to 1876, the period in which he discovered the “reazione nera” (black reaction) for which he was later (1906) awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
- The initiative has the wholehearted support and interest of the ASP board and the town of Abbiategrasso.
- The Institute, currently being modernised and restructured, is able to guarantee the necessary space.