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Saturday, Jul 26, 2014
Commentary

Alzheimer’s disease: More than 100 years later, and still no cure


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He specifically uncovered two tell-tale signs in her brain: neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques

More than 100 years have passed, and these identifying markers are the only definitive means of diagnosis. Its origin and cure still remains very elusive.

There are a number of drugs prescribed for the patient, but they do not offer long-term treatment or a cure.

Despite tremendous research advances, this disease continues to affect the lives of more than 5 million Americans and their families, with more than 500,000 patients in Florida.

According to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Alzheimer’s Family Organization’s service area of Central Florida has more than 100,000 patients at this time.

As the baby boomer generation grows older, it is estimated that the national figure will rise to 16 million by 2030.

One in 10 individuals older than 65 is reported to have the disease, and this number increases to one of two at age 85.

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Family Organization is to provide educational programs, support services and assistance to caregivers, families, and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

We have a number of programs and services to help families. They include more than 40 support groups, respite care, wanderer’s identification, and other services to ease the burden.

The Alzheimer’s Family Organization can be reached toll free at 888-496-8004 or on the Web at www.alzheimersfamily.org.

Dominick De Petrillo is executive director of the Alzheimer’s Family Organization. November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month.

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