November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. Approximately 340,000 people in Texas have Alzheimer's disease, and more than 850,000 caregivers care for them. Texas will have the nation's second largest population of senior citizens, 5.5 million, by 2025. By 2050, it is estimated that Texas will remain one of the three states with the largest senior population.
Although there is no way to avoid the primary risk factor for dementia - aging, the UNT Health Science Center is working to combat Alzheimer's and other aging-related diseases and dementias through patient care, education and research. As experts in the fields of Alzheimer's disease and aging, Janice Knebl, DO, MBA, and James Simpkins, PhD, conduct research and care to treat, mitigate and perhaps prevent this devastating condition.
Research is under way to develop a compound to slow the advance or treat Alzheimer's, assess the ability of rapid treatment with estrogens to protect the brain from the damaging effects of trauma and shock, and study the interaction of exercise and antioxidants on cognitive behavior.
The Health Science Center's Healthy Aging Council will host an educational program this month at the Medical Education and Training Building. Knebl and Simpkins will present their latest research in their efforts to provide hope for a brighter future in the area of aging.
To read more about the Health Science Center's Alzheimer's disease research, check out the latest North Texas Health & Science online, pages 9-11.
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