Supporters gather at Capitol for Alzheimer's Advocacy Day - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Supporters gather at Capitol for Alzheimer's Advocacy Day

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON METRO AREA, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Researchers right here in Mississippi are helping to find the very first cure for Alzheimer's. The Dementia Care Network put on an event at the Capitol Wednesday for Alzheimer's Advocacy Day, wearing purple to show their support.

They're pushing to advance Mississippi's "Strategic Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dimentias" and create a medicine that would operate similar to how cholesterol medications work.

"Alzheimer's is caused by a build-up of protein in the brain. The goal is to have a medication that stops the protein build-up, and hopefully stops the disease in its tracks," said T.J. Harvey, the Executive Director of Alzheimer's Mississippi.

The Department of Mental Health Division of Alzheimer's, the Alzheimer's Association Mississippi Chapter, the MIND Center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Alzheimer's Mississippi make up the Dementia Care Network.

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, claiming nearly 80% of all diagnoses.

"Alzheimer's is the only disease in the Top 10 without a way to cure it - even stop the progression. So we're working really hard at the Mind Center to stop that.," said Denise Lafferty, the Chief of Operations at the MIND Center.

More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's - 53,000 of those patients are in Mississippi.

That number is expected to triple by 2050 if an effective treatment is not found.

"Right now, there are approximately four medications on the market that treat the symptoms of the disease. There currently is no way to stop, prevent, or cure Alzheimer's disease," added Harvey.

Researchers are hoping to have a medication that can help by 2020.

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