Alzheimer's 100 Year Milestone

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This month marks a milestone for the debilitating and deadly disease that affects thousands of Iowans. Scientists discovered Alzheimer’s exactly 100 years ago. But only in the last 15 years have they made significant progress toward a treatment and cure.

Doris Madlom knows first hand about Alzheimer’s. It’s a disease that’s robbing her husband Sam of his memories. She says a few years ago he started to wander outside. “I couldn’t take care of them day and night and keep them inside and everything.”

Her husband now lives in an assisted living center where he can get the round-the-clock care he needs.

Pat Giorgio is the president of Evergreen Estates. She says memory activities help keep minds active. “Being robbed at the loss of your memory is just very painful. It’s your identity, it’s who you are and when you lose that you lose a portion of your soul.”

The Alzheimer’s Association says 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050 that number could hit 16 million. The disease costs American businesses 61 billion dollars a year. In the next five years, Alzheimer’s will cause Medicare and Medicaid costs to increase 65 percent.

People like Doris Madlom hope a cure will be found so future generations won’t face what’s happening to her husband and those who love him.

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