The number of Utahns with Alzheimer’s is growing. The upcoming walk aims to stop it in its tracks!

There's a growing problem that's affecting tens of thousands of people in Utah. Ronnie Daniel, executive director for Alzheimer's Association of Utah, stopped by and told us there are more than 33,000 people living with Alzheimer's in Utah right now, and since the year 2000 the number of people affected has grown by 190%.

"Alzheimer's is the fourth leading cause of death in Utah," Ronnie adds. "Because of the baby boomer generation, we expect to see this number grow by nearly 30% in the next 5 years."

There's an event coming up that aims to raise funds and awareness for this serious condition.

Walk to End Alzheimer's
Ronnie explained: "Since we don't have a cure yet, and there are hundreds of thousands of people impacted by the disease in Utah, the Walk to End Alzheimer's is a wonderful event for anyone who is concerned about the disease, or who is currently living with Alzheimer's or a family caregiver to connect with other people who are also concerned. The Walks provide an opportunity to learn more about the disease, and to understand what resources are available in our community. We have eight Walk events throughout the state of Utah, and there will be more than 5,000 participants statewide. Walk locations include Logan, Layton, Salt Lake City, Park City, Daybreak, Orem, Cedar City and St. George. This is a fundraising event to help our local Utah Chapter provided resources throughout the state for free to our constituents, and to help support ongoing research."

You can sign-up online by going to www.alz.org/Walk, then click on the picture of the State of Utah and select the event that is nearest to you. You can also contact their 24/7 helpline and sign up. That number is 800-272-3900.

"Come learn about research opportunities available near you and to connect with others who are living with Alzheimer's," Ronnie said. "It is an incredible cause and we need your support to help make a difference today!"

More from Alzheimer's Association of Utah

Is the anyway to cure Alzheimer's disease?
Currently there is no way to cure Alzheimer's disease, but recently scientists have found that we can reduce our risk for cognitive decline that could lead to Alzheimer's. A few things that we all can do right now to reduce our risk are: eat a heart healthy diet, get regular exercise, get 6-8 hours of qualify sleep, stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, and perhaps most importantly control our blood pressure.--ultimately to keep the top number in our blood pressure below 120.

Are there any other breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research?
The Alzheimer's Association International Research Conference was a few weeks ago. This conference gathers together over 6,000 researchers from around the world to collaborate and coordinate their research about Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. Some of the highlights of the conference included more studies related to the lifestyle changes we can make to reduce our risk. They also highlighted such things as atmospheric impact and air quality. One exciting study showed the potential for a simple blood test to aid in diagnosing the disease. There is an army of researchers working on the cure and it is just a matter of time before we see some incredible breakthroughs in prevention and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer's!

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