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Doctor gives tips on identifying Alzheimer's at symposium in Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas - Hendrick Medical Center, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Wisteria Place sponsored the fifth annual Alzheimer's Symposium Friday to give tips on how to take care of those suffering from the disease.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than five million Americans live with the disease.

"We have a lot of caregivers here that are trying to learn more about caring for their loved ones at home and so we want to be able to help them manage the loved one at home," said Pearl Merritt, regional dean for the TTUHSC School of Nursing.

Doctors, physicians and Cisco College students listened as guest speakers gave updates on diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Dr. Mary Quiceno from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said when you or a loved one has a sign of Alzheimer's -- typically memory loss -- it's best to talk with your doctor. Quiceno's research focuses on the early stages of the disease. She said the sooner Alzheimer's is identified, the better.

"I want people to feel comfortable going to their doctor or seeing a specialist if it's very early and they just have a question about Alzheimer's disease, because that might be the best time to intervene," Quiceno said.

There are medical treatments, but Quiceno pointed out lifestyle treatments like staying physically and socially active as being important.

"I think what's most important though is to identify that somebody is suffering from Alzheimer's disease," Quiceno said. "Give education to the family, you know, work with their physician or specialist about what medications might be most appropriate."

The event wrapped up around 5:30 p.m.

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