Joel Loiacono, Regional Director of the Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington Alzheimer’s Association, reminded the membership of some important aspects of the disease.
Dementia is not a disease (there are 70 different types), but Alzheimer’s is.
Alzheimer’s occurs more in women and black and hispanic cultures. 120,00 people in WA are affected.
Alzheimer’s was first identified in a 52 year old patient in 1906.
Age is the largest risk factor, but substance abuse, dramatic brain injury, and cardiovascular disease can contribute to its occurrence.
Lifestyle, luckily, can contribute to treating Alzheimer’s including sleep, diet and social & cognitive engagement.
The federal government spends $3.5 billion/year on the disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest private funder of Alzheimer’s research at $310 M.
Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s no longer requires an autopsy. Be sure to see a specialist beyond your primary care giver for a diagnosis (a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or gerontologist).
Other causes of cognitive dysfunction that are NOT Alzheimer’s include thyroid problems, low Vitamin B, medication interactions, and hearing problems.
NARFE is a significant contributor to Alzheimer’s research.
There are research trails and matches at ALZ.org.
NARFE can help lobby in Olympia and DC for greater success in supporting the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Notes from Joanne Welch, member Chapter 32