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Alzheimer's Disease[Part_1]

It's estimated that between four and five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's Disease. In this segment of KSMU's Sense of Community Series, Michele Skalicky talks with a local physician about this disease, its symptoms and ways to try to prevent it. And learn about help available for those suffering from Alzheimer's and other dementias and their families through the Alzheimer's Association, Southwest Missouri Chapter.

Alzheimer's is a cruel disease that robs its victims of a lifetime of memories.

It's estimated that between 4 and 5 million Americans suffer from it.

Dr. Sanjaya Soori is a physician at CoxHealth's Senior Health Center

The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's is age, according to Dr. Soori since most victims are 65 or older. But early onset Alzheimer's can strike those as young as 40. Family history may also play a role in determining whether an individual will develop Alzheimer's.

One of the first symptoms is difficulty remembering things

Dr. Soori says if you recognize those symptoms in yourself or in family members, check with a physician.

According to Dr. Soori, there are other diseases that can cause memory loss

Alzheimer's can be diagnosed in several ways, according to Dr. Soori. In most cases, he says, it's a clinical diagnosis

There are several theories about what causes Alzheimer's, and though research is ongoing, no one's sure exactly why Alzheimer's develops

Research is underway to try to work towards developing a way to stop Alzheimer's from progressing, and Dr. Soori says researchers are also working on vaccines

According to Dr. Soori, though it's not known exactly what causes Alzheimer's, there are some steps you can take to try to prevent it. One is keeping your cholesterol levels in check

This afternoon at 4:30 as a SOC continues, I'll tell you about the resources available to Alzheimer's patients and their families through the Alzheimer's Association, SW MO chapter. This program is available on the web at ksmu.org. For KSMU, I'm Michele Skalicky.