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)
|How does weight loss surgery affect pregnancy?|
This past Sunday in the New York Times, there was a wonderful article written by an OB-GYN talking about all the difficulties and dangers of being significantly obese and having a baby. Obesity is certainly a national problem and currently over one-third of Americans are classified as obese. In my practice, I see it as […]
|Guinea shuts border with Sierra Leone in effort to end Ebola|
Guinea closed its border with Sierra Leone on Monday as part of new efforts to stamp out Ebola, an official said.
|American who caught Ebola improves to fair condition|
Officials say an American health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone has improved to fair condition at a federal hospital.
|Device records snores to track sleep|
A system that records the sounds of every breath and snore you utter while sleeping may offer an alternative to clinical sleep-tracking technology, new research suggests.
|Kids’ fast food consumption on the decline|
Between 2003 and 2010, the number of U.S. kids eating fast food on any given day went down, and the calories from some types of fast foods have declined as well, according to a new study.
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 The Following
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm Mike & Molly
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons