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Health Special: Alzheimer's Disease

Photo of man with Alzheimer's painting
In 1906, a German doctor named Alzheimer noticed abnormal clumps and tangled bundles of fibers in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Today nearly 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and as our population ages that number is expected to rise dramatically. And there's still no cure or treatment to forestall onset of the disease.

The disease poses many challenges and can exact a huge toll on its victims and on the people who love and care for them, both emotionally and financially. Although many things about Alzheimer's remain a mystery, research is offering a better understanding of the disease, more accurate diagnoses, and more effective treatments.

Experts featured on NEW YORK VOICES HEALTH: ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE include:

Photo of Alzheimer's music therapy session
- Robin Fenley, the director of the Alzheimer's and Long Term Care unit of the New York City Department for the Aging

- Judi Grimaldi, an elder law attorney

- Jed Levine, executive vice president of the New York City chapter of the Alzheimer's Association

- Steven Ferris, professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine

- Pat Tomasso, a clinical psychologist for nursing home patients.

View a list of resources on Alzheimer's Disease

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Julio Medina
Fifty-eight year old Julio Medina was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in 2001, leaving his wife and stepdaughter to care for him.
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View this storyTom Hendricks
A former teacher in the South Bronx, Tom Hendricks participates in an early stage Alzheimer's group.
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Caregivers
Assuming responsibility for a loved one with Alzheimer's can become a full-time job.
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View this storyTom Law
Taking care of his father has meant big sacrifices for Tom Law, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
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A Healing Note
Researchers are finding that music can bring about dramatic improvements for residents with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
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Major Funding for the Program has been provided by:
The Caccappolo Family Foundation

Additional Funding provided by:
Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation, Michael T. Martin, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, and the Alzheimer's Association

Alzheimer's Association
Thirteen WNET New York