Isabella’s father-in-law, who lives in Mission Hills, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago. When she comes to Kansas City to visit, she finds herself at a loss when visiting with him over holidays. She doesn’t want to say the wrong thing, or agitate him in any way. Instead, she finds herself avoiding him so as not to make things worse, but at the end of the day, she doesn’t feel great about that either.

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Encouraging news for the future of Alzheimer’s research: doctors are ever closer to detecting the markers that indicate Alzheimer’s disease by using a simple blood test. Soon, blood tests could signal indicators of the disease years before symptoms arise, giving individuals who test positively for the disease time to take preventative measures and plan for the progression of the disease.

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It was the end of a lovely day. Dorothy and her husband Herb had enjoyed a nice evening in Kansas City with their children and grandchildren. But as soon as they got to their home in Overland Park and walked into the dark kitchen, Dorothy clutched at Herb’s arm and asked how long they would be in this strange place. Herb had seen this happen before—especially in the evening when the shadows were long and the sun was setting. He brought Dorothy to her favorite chair and put on the radio, tuning into Dorothy’s favorite program. He walked through the house and turned on the lights, so that there were not so many dark shadows, and he sat next to her and assured her she was at home and everything was alright.

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Alzheimer’s disease, like other forms of memory loss and dementia, is generally diagnosed by recognizing a series of symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: confusion, inability to recognize common things, loss of appetite, mood swings, inability to create new memories, sundowning and other indicators. Sometimes it’s difficult for caregivers and doctors to recognize the difference between specific types of dementia, since symptoms can cross diagnoses.

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Tim Tholen, CEO and Founder of Thoughtful Health Care and its affiliates in Kansas City hosted experts  Michelle Niedens, Licensed Social Worker, and the director of My Alliance for Cognitive Health, a community-based program focused on early detection, provider partnerships, and education and Eric Vidoni, PT, PhD, Director of the Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core for the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center and a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. ​

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