June 23 - Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

June 23 - Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month

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GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - There are at least 44 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, including 97,000 here in Maryland. Despite its soaring prevalence, Alzheimer's disease is still largely misunderstood.

June is the inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month - an opportunity to raise awareness of the Alzheimer's crisis and educate people on the realities of the disease. The Alzheimer's Association is asking everyone with a brain to join the purple movement this June and help protect our greatest assets.

Often thought of as minor memory loss, Alzheimer's is a fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, affecting an individual's ability to remember, think and plan. As the disease advances, the brain shrinks dramatically due to cell death. Individuals lose their ability to communicate, recognize family and friends and care for themselves.

According to the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of people agree with the mistaken belief that Alzheimer's must run in their family for them to be at risk. When looking at certain ethnic groups, these numbers were even higher. A third of Latinos (33 percent) and almost half of Asians (45 percent) agreed with that incorrect statement. In actuality, everyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer's, a disease that currently has no way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression.

"In the state of Maryland alone, 97,000 people over 65 are living with Alzheimer's. If you have a brain, you are at risk. That is why we're raising awareness of how you can use your brains to fight Alzheimer's disease," said Cass Naugle, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association.

On June 21, the summer solstice, people around the world will honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's with a day of activity. Participants in The Longest Day® will complete approximately 16 hours of activity ranging from running, cooking and knitting to playing cards. To join or start a team, visit alz.org/thelongestday.
Alzheimer's Association: ABAM, p. 2

In recognition of women being at the epicenter of the disease - making up the majority of both people living with the disease and caregivers - the Alzheimer's Association will host "My Brain Matters: Women and Alzheimer's Disease," a breakfast and forum at Annapolis Yacht Club on Wednesday, June 18. It will cover the latest in Alzheimer's research, what the Alzheimer's Association is doing to combat this disease, and how to get involved. For more information and to register visit www.alz.org/maryland.

Other ways to join the fight against Alzheimer's during June include:

· Share the facts - Post and tweet about Alzheimer's and brain risk throughout the month. If you have a brain, you are at risk for Alzheimer's disease.
· Be social - Turn Facebook purple using an END ALZ graphic as your profile picture.
· Go purple - Wear purple on Saturday, June 21, the longest day of the year, to support those facing the devastation of Alzheimer's day in and day out.
· Use your brain to fight Alzheimer's disease - Become an Alzheimer's advocate and write your members of Congress to ask for more federal funding for Alzheimer's research.

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, how to get involved and purple gear, visit alz.org/abam.

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org. <http://www.alz.org/>

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