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Utahns can learn about Alzheimer's at free conference

The AFA's Education America Tour: Alzheimer's & Caregiving Conference will be held on Wed. in West Valley City, UT
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The AFA's Education America Tour: Alzheimer's & Caregiving Conference will be held on Wed. in West Valley City, UT

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is helping Utahns learn about the disease, brain health and advance planning May 15.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America was founded 22 years to provide tips and strategies to caregivers, education and also funds research to provide families who may have loved ones with the disease to feel they are supported every step of the journey.

The President and CEO of the Foundation Charles Fuschillo says participants can attend three different education sessions at the conference that will be held in West Valley City.

“We're going to kick it off with Donna Krause, who is a research associate professor at the University of Utah,” Fuschillo said. “And she's going to talk about new therapies and strategies relating to Alzheimer's disease. And then we're gonna have an elder law attorney, we're very excited that Eric Barnes is going to be there. We're going to talk about something that individuals don't want to talk about, you know, advanced planning, protecting long term, your assets and long term care. And then we're going to wrap it up with a discussion of frontal temporal dementia FTD, which is something that people are reading about.”

More than 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s -- more than 34,000 of them he says right here in Utah.

The disease was discovered in the early 1900s when Dr. Alzheimer presented a case of an individual with cognitive impairment at a conference. Since then, Fuschillo says there have been new therapies to treat the disease but still no cure – and no one seems to know what causes the disease –other than there are age-related changes in the brain for some.

It’s important he says to watch for the signs and symptoms of the disease that include confusion about times and place as well as changing moods and personalities. Free 10-minute screenings, he says, will be offered at the conference as well.

“Not all of these issues are attributed to Alzheimer's disease,” he explained. “Somebody can have a vitamin deficiency, depression, alcoholism, thyroid issue, all are treatable, if not correctable, but you won't know it if you don't address it. So, we always encourage people to address it immediately. One of the other benefits of attending the conference is we will be offering free memory screenings as well. And we'd like to call that a checkup from the neck up.”

For more information or to register for the free conference, click here.