This week, health care professionals and scientists from around the world met in Vancouver to present the latest cutting-edge research on Alzheimer’s disease for the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. There was a lot of buzz about new studies, including drug advancements that could be potential treatments in the future. But for the average patient with Alzheimer’s, or for their caregivers, it’s easy to get lost in the abundance of abstracts and scientific minutia.
The ravages of the disease — memory loss, mood swings, depression and poor judgment, to name just a few — not only affect the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s but also the 15 million-plus unpaid men and women who care for them. Symptoms of the disease can manifest themselves differently in each patient, but ultimately most people living with Alzheimer’s will end up unable to function independently. They will have to rely on spouses, siblings, children, friends, neighbors or paid professionals for help.
"Alzheimer’s disease is really difficult for everybody, and families can really struggle," said Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services at the Alzheimer’s Association.
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