There's an excellent article and video on the New England Cable News Web site about one woman's journey through early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's an Alzheimer's diagnosis in someone younger than 65.
Early-onset can be especially difficult for families because the afflicted often are still working and may have children in the home. Our last blog post discussed the impact that has on adolescent and teenaged children.
It's difficult to say if early-onset Alzheimer's is actually on the rise or growing because of more awareness of the disease. Currently, of the 5.4 million people with Alzheimer's, 4 percent are early-onset. That seems a small number, but it still represents hundreds of thousands of people.
We wanted to highlight one section of the NECN report, because it underscores something we've been saying about how to help yourself reduce the risks and symptom of dementia: exercise regularly.
According to Dr. Geoffrey Kerchner: "The one thing we've identified so far that does seem to slow down the disease process is aerobic exercise. As old fashioned as it sounds, it is more effective than any medication that's been invented."
The piece then quotes Kerchner as saying exercise may also be able to help delay the age the disease develops if you're at risk.
NECN: Early Onset Alzheimer's: One Woman's Story