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Alzheimer's screening, info sessions spread hope about treatment

The Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern New York will be hosting two informational and screening seminars in August.

On Saturday, Aug. 11, the association will host an informational session to help families better understand the disease. The session will run from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the association's office at 85 Watervliet Ave., Albany. On Wednesday, Aug. 15 a memory screening will be conducted by Albany Neurological Associates at the First United Methodist Church, 438 Kenwood Ave., Delmar.

The sessions are part of an ongoing effort to better inform the public and dispel misconceptions about the disease. They are also helping to spread the word about early diagnoses and medication available now and on the way to help those suffering from Alzheimer's go on living healthy lives.

Alzheimer's is the fourth-most common disease in America, and it is expected to affect more seniors as baby boomers reach retirement age.

Our population is healthier and living longer lives so the frequency of Alzheimer's is increasing. We have medication to treat this problem, but the earlier we can get a diagnoses the better we will be able to help them (those diagnosed) through their lifetime, said Dr. Richard Holub with Albany Neurological Associates.

There has always been a sense of hopelessness with the disease, he said. However, screenings and informational sessions like those scheduled in August have done well to help get the word out.

Through the association, doctors are able to reach more people and help them determine if their concerns are in fact early signs of the disease's onset.

Constantly misplacing items or going somewhere to realize one can't remember why they did are not always signs of Alzheimer's. Neither are genealogical factors. In fact, it is rare that they are. But if the signs exist and caregivers can link it to Alzheimer's, the pain and suffering that could be spared is immeasurable.

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