Kevin Ogle remembers beloved mother’s battle with dementia; optimism for Alzheimer’s, dementia research at all-time high

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“There’s never been this much optimism in Alzheimer’s research and dementia research as there is right now.”

That’s what Mark Fried, the President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says about the latest worldwide conference on Alzheimer’s Disease.

The reasons for more optimism, more research dollars are pouring in from fundraisers like the Alzheimer’s Walk.

It’s a subject that hits close to home for the Ogle family.

A few years ago my brothers and I began to notice something was happening with our mother, Ann Ogle.

Mom wasn’t acting like herself, having challenges with her memory, but also more noticeable and more alarming occurrences, experiencing hallucinations that to her seemed very, very real.

Our whole family was shocked and crushed when our loving, intelligent, quick-witted mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.

Tragically for us, mom passed away this past February. Her mother, our grandmother, was a victim of Alzheimer’s in her early 90s.

The big news coming out of this year’s conference is a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s in a patient much sooner. Right now it can be expensive and take months for an accurate diagnosis.

A blood test could help researchers detect Alzheimer’s quicker, even prior to onset or in those showing early signs of dementia.

Families could get the planning process started earlier. It not only helps the family prepare for what they need to do and treatment they need to find for their loved ones, but it also is important of course to the patient.

“It will give those that have the disease an opportunity to play a role in their own planning too,” says Fried. “We’ve heard from many who have gone through this process how empowering it is for them to be involved in their own long-range life planning.”

It’s not a cure but a very important step. A step on the path forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

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