The progression of Alzheimer's can be rapid. In this edition of Healthy Living, YNN's Marcie Fraser tells us about new drugs that can slow down the progression of the disease.
"You like to think it is not true especially at the time she was 52," said George Mahserjien, the husband of an Alzheimer's patient.
"Ten percent of people have the early onset form," noted Beth Boivin, Alzheimer's Association Northeast Chapter CEO.
The number of people with Alzheimer's is increasing because early symptoms are now being spotted.
Boivin said, "The processing speed slows down so people who maybe, a year earlier or two years earlier, could have taken new data and off they ran with it, now they take a few moments or two moments, or three moments to take that new information in."
"Actually my boss at work, she noticed my face looked different. I refer to myself as having had that blank stare," said Cathy Mahserjien, an Alzheimer's patient.
Diagnosis involves scanning the brain, blood studies, and paper and pencil testing.
Boivin said, "We give them fairly complex problems to solve. When we ask you to count backwards by sevens starting from 100, that takes a level of skill that we need to test."
It has been two years since Cathy was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Newer medications may be responsible for the slow progression of her disease, and because she was diagnosed early she can take advantage of clinical trials.
"We are also we are looking at therapies and vaccines so we hope some day in the future to be looking at a preventative tool for alzheimer's," said Boivin.
"All we have is to hope in the clinical trials. We go with a lot of optimism, it's a another new path," added George.