June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month and Memorial Healthcare is showing their support and helping to raise awareness about this devastating disease.
There are 5.4 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease and an estimated 200,000 are under 65. By 2050, an estimated 16 million people across the country will have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive, fatal, devastating disease that kills tissue and nerve cells in the brain. It cannot be slowed, cured or prevented. Alzheimer’s robs people of the ability to remember, communicate, think, recognize family or friends and care for themselves.
People with Alzheimer’s will eventually become confused about time, place and events, and will experience more serious memory loss, including mood and behavior changes, disorientation, and difficulty swallowing, speaking and walking.
Alzheimer’s is linked to aging, but it is not a normal part of aging. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatments for symptoms, and research is ongoing. Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop the disease from progressing. The treatments, however, can temporarily slow dementia symptoms and help improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
“The way we think about Alzheimer’s disease is changing. As new diagnostic tests and treatments become available, a focus on getting an accurate diagnosis early in the course of the disease is important to improve care of our patients,” said Dr. Cara Leahy, Neurologist and Director of the Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience.
The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease aren’t fully understood, but scientists believe that for most people it is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. Problems with brain proteins disrupt the work of brain cells (neurons). Neurons, when damaged lose connections to each other and eventually die. The damage most often starts in the region of the brain that controls memory and this process begins years before the first symptoms. The loss of neurons spreads in a somewhat predictable pattern to other regions of the brains and towards the late stage of the disease, the brain has shrunk significantly.
Help turn the world purple in June by raising awareness and showing support for those facing this disease. To learn more about Dr. Leahy and the Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience, please visit https://memorialhealthcare.org/service/neurology/.
MEMORY DISORDERS CLINIC
With the help of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience operates a multidisciplinary memory disorders clinic to help support patients and their families in our community. This clinic is designed to offer the latest in information, treatments and supports for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Dr. Leahy is a leader in developing this multidisciplinary approach for Alzheimer’s disease. She, along with her team of clinical pharmacists, nurses and home health professionals, meet with each patient and their families during this memory clinic appointment. The goal is to provide care and treatment that extends beyond the medicines and to improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. If you know of someone who might benefit from this caring, passionate and dedicated approach to patient care, please have them contact their primary care physician to learn if they might qualify for this unique clinic at (989) 723-1390.