FOX 47 - Health News
It is a debilitating disease, affecting 160,000 families in Wisconsin. Alzheimer's patients suffer memory loss, poor judgment, and language problems -- making treatment difficult
"The person with the disease has trouble communicating, so we don't know what to do to help them," said Paul Rusk, executive director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Association.
And the number of cases is spiking -- 115 million people worldwide by the year 2050.
"Over the age of 85, 40 percent of people at that age have Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Sanjay Asthana. "Another 20 percent have some kind of memory problem."
Dr. Asthana is director of the new Alzheimer's Disease research center. He says the illness creates social and economic burdens for families.
"The disease is so devastating. It's projected that millions of people will have the disease in this country, and bankrupt the Medicare system, unless we find an effective treatment."
Doctors have lofty goals -- to recognize and treat the disease before symptoms start. Using brain scans, blood tests, and psychological exams, doctors hope to discover the secrets of alzheimer's -- most importantly, how it happens and who's going to get it.
One of the most unique features of the UW center is a statewide registry of at-risk Alzheimer's patients. Doctors say these 1,300 people -- some as young as 20 -- could be a key to treatments down the road.
"We know these people are at genetic risk for the disease," Dr. Asthana said. "So, we'll follow them over 20, 30 years to see who develops the disease and why they're different from those who don't."
Proactive steps, researches hope, will uncover the mystery of Alzheimer's.
Said Rusk, "Participating in research is an incredibly powerful way to fight back."
UWSM received a $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and Aging for the project. It is one of only 17 centers in the entire country to take on this kind of work.
People at UWSM hope to open another Alzheimer's center in Milwaukee, targeted at helping minority patients.
Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!
Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)
|Researchers grow kidney-like organs in laboratory|
Researchers have grown kidney-like organs in a laboratory dish, the latest advance in the effort to bioengineer complex human organs for medical use.
|Why is elephant cancer rare? Answer might help treat humans|
Cancer is much less common in elephants than in humans, even though the big beasts' bodies have many more cells.
|Polio vaccines in Ukraine safe despite local concerns, UN says|
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it's worried that millions of doses of polio vaccine might be wasted in the Ukraine after concerns were raised by a patient group that the doses are unsafe.
|Scientists may have figured out the 'runner's high'|
It's known that a runner's high isn't actually the result of endorphins, which are too large to cross the blood-brain barrier, but scientists have long sought the elusive cause of the much-talked-about sense of euphoria and calm that can accompany the end of a workout.
|Going to bed late could be making you fat|
Want to lower your chances of gaining weight?
Tonight on FOX 47
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
8:00pm Sleepy Hollow
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm 2 Broke Girls
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons
12:05am Mike & Molly