Psychiatrist talks Alzheimer’s, ‘What can we do to prevent it?’
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - While Alzheimer’s awareness month is still three months away, some across the US believe that learning about the disease is not enough. Rather, finding ways to prevent it from continuing to happen to people is the goal.
“Alzheimer’s is a total brain disease that can lead to every kind of brain problem that is out there, but it starts with cognitive impairments usually,” explained Manlove Brain and Body Health psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Manlove.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than six million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s with that number projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050.
For an Alzheimer’s patient the cognitive impairment that Manlove talked about is something that could have started during the patients youth.
“It’s likely that Alzheimer’s has its’s beginnings during a patients young ages, 20, 15, because of poor heath choices or poor health experiences during those years,” explained Manlove. “People begin to have subtle abnormalities sometimes by as early as age 40. They may have lab abnormalities that are demonstrable by around age 40 as well.”
These abnormalities can then be fatal if Alzheimer’s is not “treated” or “slowed.”
“Eventually it can kill people by infecting the whole brain and making the person not be able to breathe,” said Manlove.
While spreading awareness of the disease is an important way in helping fight it, finding a way to help prevent it should be a priority as well.
“It bothers me to think of it as just awareness. It’s good that people know about how Alzheimer’s develop but what should be focused on is what can we do to prevent it,” said Manlove.
If you are interested in donating to the Alzheimer’s Association you can go to act.alz.org. To find more resources on help with Alzheimer’s you can head to the National Institute on Aging website. To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease you can also visit the Alzheimer’s Association.
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