November 20, 2023
Almost everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and many know someone who has been personally impacted. In fact, according to Alzheimer's Association's Fact and Figures, there are 120,000 Missourians ages 65+ who have Alzheimer's, and 223,000 individuals who help care for them—numbers that are predicted to climb in coming years. However, as prevalent as Alzheimer's and dementia are, there is still a great deal that most people don’t know.
In honor of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregiver Month this November, MCPL recently sat down with the KU Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (KU ADRC) to learn a bit more.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Dementia itself is an umbrella term used to describe memory loss and other cognitive decline that impacts daily living. There are many types of dementia, and Alzheimer's is the most common, but there are also Lewy bodies, frontotemporal, vascular, and more, as well as Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Signs and Symptoms
Alzheimer’s can strike anyone. Age is a major risk factor along with family history and heredity. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Difficulty remembering recent conversations, names, or events
- Apathy and depression
- Communication problems
- Poor judgment
- Behavioral changes
If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, don’t assume it’s a natural part of aging; talk to your doctor. It could be a sign of mild cognitive impairment—changes that sometimes precede more serious decline.
You can also explore resources from KU ARDC, including:
- Dementia-specialized navigators who can educate, support, and empower patients and families post diagnosis
- Patient & Family Resources, including in-person and virtual support groups
- Customized weekly communications and resources through MyAlliance for Brain Health
- The Lifestyle Empowerment for Alzheimer’s Prevention (LEAP!) program, which offers strategies to boost brain health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's
- KU ADRC research opportunities
Be sure to also explore this Alzheimer's and Dementia book list compiled by MCPL staff.
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