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Alzheimer's early detection presentation coming to Havre


January 31, 2018

Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: This corrects the date of the conference

Havre Daily News staff

The Alzheimer's Association is bringing a presentation to Havre to help people learn how to spot signs that they or someone they know is developing the debilitating disease, one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

"Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters" is set to run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, in the Northern Montana Hospital Third Floor Conference Room.

A release about the presentation, brought by the Alzheimer's Association in partnership with Edward Jones and Northern Montana Health Care, said that as many as 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and that figure is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050.

In Montana, 20,000 people are living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia and another 49,000 family members are providing their care, the release added.

In 2011, the first wave of baby boomers began turning 65 - which is not only the age of Medicare eligibility, it is also the age of greatest risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, it said. Early diagnosis gives individuals the power to make choices about their own health and future with Alzheimer's in the picture, the release said.

The Havre presentation will give people an understanding of the difference between age-related memory loss and Alzheimer's and what to do if they have concerns about themselves or others.

The presentation includes video footage of people who are living with the early stages of dementia and their families as they address fears and myths associated with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

The presentation will cover these topics:

• The 10 warning signs

• Basic overview of Alzheimer's disease

• Risk factors

• What is involved in getting a diagnosis

• Benefits of early detection including accessing available treatment, planning for the future and participating in clinical trials.

Following the video segment, Alzheimer's Association will lead a discussion.

Light refreshments will be provided during at the presentation.

People who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to 800-272-3900 or via email to [email protected]/.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage on Alzheimer's says the disease is the most common type of dementia and is a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.

It involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language and can seriously affect a person's ability to carry out daily activities, the page says. It is the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults and the fifth leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years or older.

In 2010, the costs of treating Alzheimer's disease were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion. By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually, the page reports.

The page adds that death rates for Alzheimer's disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline. Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, has been shown to be underreported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimer's may be considerably higher.

Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease, the CDC page says. It probably does not have one single cause, but several factors that affect each person differently:

• Age is the best known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

• Family history - researchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimer's disease.

• Changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms appear.

• Researchers are studying whether education, diet and environment play a role in developing Alzheimer's disease.

• Scientists are finding more evidence that some of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

• There is growing evidence that physical, mental and social activities may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging, the page says.

Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of cognitive loss.

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer's disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

• Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.

• Trouble handling money and paying bills.

• Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.

• Decreased or poor judgment.

• Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.

• Changes in mood, personality or behavioral.

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research.  The organization's mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The Montana chapter office is located in Billings and serves the entire state. Programs and services are offered free of charge for families and individuals. People can learn more about the disease in person, online and by phone classes - as well as an array of other resources by calling the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 or visiting https://alz.org/montana/.

Volunteer opportunities are available for interested individuals in the community. For details, contact Lisa Day, volunteer cooridnator at [email protected] or 406-252-3053, ext. 8127.


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