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Nov 18, 2013 9:39 AM by Ryan Haarer

Free memory screenings offered for Alzheimers Awareness Month

TUCSON- It can be difficult to admit your memory is deteriorating but taking action early can make a huge difference in living with Alzheimer's disease.

The effects of Alzheimer's began taking effect on Dr. Thomas Brislin at his practice in Pennsylvania.

"Keeping up with the billing, keeping up with dictations. So I cut back a little bit. But then it became clear. My wife noticed forgetfulness," said Dr. Brislin.

Dr. Michael Badruddoja says it's typically a family member who sees the signs of dementia first. In Dr. Brislin's case it was his wife, Mary Ann who took notice.

"Usually people are going to have difficulty with simple things in life. Knowing where they live, knowing how to cook certain things, knowing how to do their check book. And this is typically a very progressive process," said Dr. Badruddoja.

The big scare for Mary Ann was when Tom got lost on vacation while walking the dog.

"I will be there for Tom. He's been there for all of us, all these years, so it's my time to be with him," said Mary Ann, fighting back tears.

It hasn't been an easy transition into retirement. But, the Brislin's are at an advantage for detecting the disease early. Tom is currently part of a double blind study, receiving an injection once a month.

"The drug itself actually binds the toxic protein and stops it from injuring the brain," said Dr. Badruddoja.

Tom hasn't felt any effects yet. But, even without the study, early detection can mean slowing the progression of Alzheimer's with FDA approved drugs.

"You know, you think about retiring and how much fun it's going to be. It didn't turn out that way but we are going to make the best of it and we are going to take it a day at a time," said Mary Ann.

The Center for Neurosciences is offering free memory screenings for Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, the screenings will be held Tuesday, November 18 from 9 to 4 at 2450 East River Rd.

For more information call Margie Pazzi, RN at 520-320-2147.

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