November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain.  The disease causes death of brain cells and damage to neural connections.  People with Alzheimer’s may be unable to access memories, exhibit changes in personality and experience impaired decision-making.  The disease is incurable, progressive, and terminal.  Alzheimer’s effects 5.1 million Americans, most over the age of 60.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association there is an increasing prevalence of early symptoms in people as young as 40.  Chances of debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer’s increase dramatically for patients over the age of 65.

Alzheimer’s is caused by a protein that attacks and kills brain cells.  When enough brain cells are destroyed, they take neural pathways and cognitive functions with them.  There are medications that can slow the progression of the disease and you can help reduce the onset with some simple activities.   Building new pathways through puzzles, learning new things, or simply changing your daily routine to include new challenges can help delay the onset of symptoms.

Contact the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for support groups and more information if you or someone you know have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Call 423-265-3600 to learn more.

Listen to the story. 

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