Alzheimer’s Disease Impacts ND Lives

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The highest death rate for Alzheimer’s disease is right here in North Dakota.

This type of dementia causes a person to forget parts of their memory, it’s also the third leading cause of death in state.

Forgetting how to tie your shoes or not knowing your child’s name. This is what happens to some when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Darin Bolken’s father is 65-years-old and has been living with this way for three years.

“He would get frustrated because he couldn’t say what he was saying or I could just see him change the subject because he’s trying to get something out and then he would just stop…and just start talking about something else,” said Bolken.

His father is one of 14,000 people estimated in North Dakota with the disease.

An increase in the elderly could cause the number of those with the disease to rise by 6,000 in the next 10 years.

The biggest problem, there is no cure.

Dr. Michael Lillestol who has had many patients with the disease said, “We don’t even have a really good test for it to even make the diagnosis. You know other than autopsies and thing like that. So, it’s not a very easy thing to pick up early I’ll put it that way.”

An Alzheimer’s Association survey shows that almost half of the people with the disease or their caregivers find out their diagnosis by their doctor. These are very low disclosure rates compared to other diseases.

Many caregivers like Darren have seen their loved ones, slip with time.

“It’s a little heart breaking.. I take to him everyone once in a while and he likes it but I do see him just….I wish I wish I had more time with him,” said Bolken.

Millions of dollars are going into research to find out how to cure this disease. So in the future people like Darin’s father will always have their memories.

WHAT:”Brains on the Plains” Raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

WHEN:March 26th; 5:30pm-7:30pm

WHERE:Super Stud, 630 1st Ave N., Fargo

TICKETS: $20.00 per person, Aavailable at (search “Brains on the Plains Fargo”), Cash, check and credit is accepted at the door.