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)
|Photos of mother with cancer breastfeeding after single mastectomy go viral|
Photos of an unidentified mother breastfeeding her newborn after undergoing a left-breast mastectomy have gone viral after a Florida photographer posted them on her Facebook page.
|Prostate cancer risk linked to baldness|
Men who are losing their hair due to male pattern baldness may be at increased risk of dying from prostate cancer, a new study suggests.
|Women who sit too much have higher breast cancer risk|
Too much time spent sitting at work and during off hours may increase women's risk of breast and endometrial cancer, a new study from Sweden suggests.
|The science of suicide clustering: How silence can increase stigma|
At least 25 percent of children and adolescents have suicidal thoughts at some point during their lives, but what causes a young person to attempt, and succeed, in taking his or her life requires a unique set of conditions.
|Here's where you'll find the most binge drinking in the United States|
Even though the percentage of people who drink alcohol doesn't seem to be going up, binge drinking is, and the lead author of a recent study on the subject has uncovered two facts he finds "alarming": In many US counties, 25% of residents or more are binge drinkers, and women are experiencing an especially significant rise in partaking to excess, per an Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation press release.
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