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Run 2 End Alzheimer's And Raise Awareness

Run 2 End Alzheimer's And Raise Awareness
BONAIRE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Millions of people across the country suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and that number is only expected to grow as time goes on.

Dr. Cesar Figueroa treats patients for all kinds of illnesses at the Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health, including those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

"A person with early Alzheimer’s dementia might find it difficult to remember names, where they put their keys, remember where familiar environments were located at,” Dr. Figueroa said. “As it progresses, the memory problem becomes more intense and more difficult to deal with."

Memory problems may occur as we get older, but Dr. Figueroa says Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging.

“When Alzheimer’s sits in, the person starts having a little difficulty coping because they realize this might get a little worse and they might start losing their independence,” he said.

Age is the most common risk factor, while genetics can also play a role in developing the disease. Dr. Figueroa says five million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer's.

“That is suspected to triple by the year 2050, out of those two-thirds are females,” he said. “This is something that keeps growing as the time goes on."

And it doesn't only affect the patient.

“You have somebody who is gradually losing their personality, their memories and by the very end, they may not remember you. so as a caregiver,”Dr. Figueroa said. “You have to deal with the fact that you have someone who is a shell of who they used to be and that can be extremely difficult emotionally for any family member."

Dr. Figueroa says there is no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are medications that can slow down the disease and improve the quality of life for patients. There are also resources available to families and those affected by the disease.

John Rowlands, the Run 2 End Alzheimer's race coordinator, and a representative from the Alzheimer's Association stopped by 41 Today to talk about the race.

The race is Saturday, April 5 at the Landings Pointe Plaza located at 402 GA Hwy. 247 South in Bonaire.
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