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Pensacola - Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States according to the Alzheimer's Association.
No one knows what causes it and there is no cure.
What signs you need to look for when dealing with the disease.
As many as 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's.
And even though we are in the age of medicine. There is still no cure.
Doctors believe what causes the disease is a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
And differs from person to person.
Sacred Heart Neurologist Doctor Lawrence King says medications can slow the progression down. But, he also has other suggestions.
"Following a well balanced diet really minimizing heart attack and stroke risk factors there could be a potential link between that and the disease such as no smoking, low fat, and low cholesterol diet, and those kinds of things," said Dr. Lawrence King.
Someone with Alzheimer's disease may experience signs like getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, poor judgment, and experiencing mood and personality changes. Memory problems aren't the only issues people with Alzheimer's face.
It can also be an indirect cause of death.
"What happens in a period of time is that people can lose their mobility for example and that leaves susceptibility to infections like pneumonia foe example which can be a high cause of death in elderly patients," said Dr. King.
Dr. King says the disease doesn't only effect the person with Alzheimer's.
Many people go from being a spouse to a caregiver. Turning their lives upside-down.
And they can become forgotten.
"We always try to remind caregivers to take care of themselves so they can take care of others," said Dr. King.
If you suffer from these symptoms Dr. King says its a good idea to visit your doctor.
And if you are a caregiver you should also ask about local support groups in your area.
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