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Report: Women at Epicenter of Alzheimer's

Updated: 03/20/2014 9:24 AM
Created: 03/19/2014 11:46 AM WDIO.com

The annual report from Alzheimer's Association has come out, and has some startling statistics about women.

It says that women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.

Also, 2/3 of Americans who have the mind-robbing disease, are women.

And women are more likely to be the caregivers of those who have it as well.

That means women are the epicenter of the disease.

Local neuropsychologist, Dr. Michael Sharland, works at Essentia Health. He said that he does see more female patients, because women tend to live longer. But he said people don't have to give up hope. The earlier you're diagnosed, the more control you have in your future.

"If people understand they have a problem early, there are community resources out there that can help. While we may not be able to cure the disease, their outcomes and independent quality of life are greatly improved."

Screening is important, he said. He's working on making sure the primary care physicians screen their patients for memory loss, once they hit the age of 65.

And prevention is also key. "Taking care of our brain health is important. There are things we can do to reduce the risk of dementia, like exercise, and doing social activities. Watching for medical risk factors like high blood pressure and blood sugars are also important."

If you have questions about Alzheimer's, you can call this 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) run by the Alzheimer's Association, and the local website www.alz.org/mnnd

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