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Ohio couple advocate early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

The video features previous coverage of the FDA taking steps to approve new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) — Sandusky residents Pam and Joe Drool rode a bus to Amish country on their first date to see a train. The two married two years after her and have lived together for about 10 years, traveling and spending time with their three children and her six grandchildren.

Two years ago, on her usual route home, Pam pulled over by the roadside and called Joe.

“It was like snapping your fingers. Where am I?” Pam recalled. “I couldn’t tell Joe where I was. So it was a very scary time.”

From that moment on, after months of grueling appointments and testing, Pam, 62, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2022, according to a statement from the Miami Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“As long as you catch it early, it’s like a double-edged sword,” Joe said. “It’s good, but it’s also scary to think about the whole process. On the positive side of early detection, which I always try to tell Pam, you need to focus on enjoying every day.” “

Pam is taking medication to help slow the progression of the disease and hopes that since it was caught early, treatment will provide her with many more good years. experiences anxiety and seasonal depression in addition to Alzheimer’s symptoms, and enjoys the “happy lights” that Joe has installed to brighten up his home.

Pam has resigned from her position as director of the Erie County Chamber of Commerce as her symptoms continue to become apparent. Joe is caring for her 97-year-old mother, who also has Alzheimer’s disease.

The couple said many of these transitions were made easier because Pam’s Alzheimer’s disease was detected early.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter, regular cognitive testing and recognition of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be important tools for identifying the disease and starting treatment as soon as possible.

One step anyone can take is to request an annual cognitive screen as part of their annual physical.

“Healthcare providers have a responsibility to educate them about understanding cognitive impairment and what individuals can do to reduce their risk,” said Dr. Joel Vandersluis.

“Ideally, it should be done before the onset of dementia symptoms. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, and diabetes can all influence Alzheimer’s risk.”

Vandersluis encourages patients to proactively request cognitive testing as part of their annual check-up. They should ask their doctor if they have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and understand what actions can help reduce some of that risk.

“Anyone, regardless of age, can adopt a healthy lifestyle to improve overall physical and brain health, and later reduce the risk of cognitive decline,” Vandersluis said. said.

“It’s never too early. But it’s also never too late. Don’t sit back and give up on the idea that losing brain function is a normal part of aging.” It shows that there is no

The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter offers a free educational program, 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. It teaches participants what to look for in themselves or loved ones. You can read about 10 warning signs here.

Early detection gives families more options. This is something Pam and Joe Drool appreciate.

“We have a strong relationship and I’m not going anywhere,” Joe said. “We are working through this together, and I know she will do the same for me.”

Those concerned about themselves or loved ones can contact the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter office at 937-291-1999 to schedule a consultation.

Additionally, you can contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/state-news/like-a-snap-of-the-finger-ohio-couple-advocates-for-early-detection-of-alzheimers/ Ohio couple advocate early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

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