This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on Alzheimer’s disease. Erricka Hager, health advocate, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO, both of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, spoke about this topic.
EB: Good morning, Erricka. Alzheimer’s disease is a health topic that we’ve never covered before. I’m glad we’re taking the time today to discuss this disease, efforts to learn more about this disease and the resources available locally for our readers and their families. This month’s page is filled with information and current research about Alzheimer’s. It even features the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), a local resource with which our health education office has previously partnered. I’m certain we’ll be successful in providing readers with a brief introduction and overview of Alzheimer’s and ways they can find support in the Pittsburgh area.
EH: Yes, Ms. Bush. Before reading this page’s content, I didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s disease. I think one of the reasons we’ve been running the “Take Charge” page in the Courier for seven years is to connect readers with health information, resources and to disseminate current research. I also think people need to know that they are never “alone” when they or their families experience health problems. More than 5 million people are living with the disease in the United States, and over 400,000 of those people live in Pennsylvania. It’s safe to say that most of the Courier readers have heard of Alzheimer’s. Personally, I’ve known one person who was affected by Alzheimer’s. I always wished I was able to provide more support to my loved ones in their time of need.
EB: I’m sure your loved ones appreciated all the support you provided during such a tough time. I, too, didn’t realize that Alzheimer’s affects the African American community so disproportionately. But medical advances and understanding of diseases through research continues to be so needed.
EH: I agree. Dr. Cohen discusses advancements in both understanding the genetic markers of the disease and how technology has changed the way the disease is diagnosed. The future of how and when diseases like Alzheimer’s are detected and how it is treated through research is here. I now know more about local resources and support groups like ADRC and all the wonderful things they offer to people and families affected by the disease. I feel equipped to refer any personal contacts as well as any of our health education office clients. As you mentioned earlier, I’m also eager to continue working with ADRC in a multitude of ways in order to continue to educate the communities we serve.
EB: I second that. Thanks for having this chat with me, Erricka. We’ve provided some great information and local resources for families who are affected by Alzheimer’s. I look forward to chatting with you next month as we discuss Down syndrome.
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