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Image 8 of Kentucky Alumnus, 1988, no. 1

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t lg —· diagnostic ability and do a better job of essence of being a human being. It’s ‘ MAJOR GRANT patient care. The ripple effect of that heart rending." , Last year the Center was awarded a will be to educate our medical students AD usually has a gradual onset. 15400,000 annual grant for a major and faculty and other health care Problems remembering recent events program of teaching, research and professionals. All sorts of people will and difficulty performing familiar tasks service efforts in treating stroke. know how to care for stroke and go out are early symptoms. Additionally, the Markesbery, director of both the into our communities and do a better Alzheimer patients also may experience Center on Aging and the stroke job," says the doctor. confusion, personality change, behavior program, says "We have had a good Markesbery, who is a member of change, impairedjudgment, and { track record over the past seven years." the first class of the UK College of difficulty finding words, finishing I The program on strokes is one of 16 Medicine (1964), became interested thoughts or following directions. national Systolic Hypertension in the in diseases of aging, particularly It is not, of itself, fatal. As , ` Elderly Program (SHEP) centers Alzheimer’s disease, while doing his Markesbery puts it, "You don’t really charged to determine if older persons residency in New York. die from Alzheimer’s. You die because treated for isolated systolic hypertension Seeing patients with the disease and you become so incapacitated that you are at lower risk of stroke and heart being told that there was nothing that can’t walk, you can’t feed yourself, you disease. As with the Center’s other could be done about it, disturbed him. can’t carry out the daily activities of programs, this is one of service, "It seemed to me that the thing to do living and eventually you go to bed. teaching and research. was to take a bedside problem to the When you go to bed you end up with According to the American Heart laboratory. It’s a logical thought that pneumonia, urinary tract infection, ` Association, stroke is the third leading we ought to be doing something about sepsis . . . you die of those things and cause of death in the U.S.A. About it. It is a very tragic disease." He left not the disease. Yes, it kills you, but it 500,000 people had strokes in 1984 and Rochester in 1972, returning to UK to does it indirectly." 155,000 of them died. About 15,000 develop a program on Alzheimer’s He says that the average length of Kentuckians a year have strokes, nearly disease. survival is 8.1 years after onset, but it twice the national average. Among *— varies. Some die in a year or two and other things, researchers are working to ALZHEIMERS some live 25 years. The time frame discover why Kentuckians have more A progressive, age-related brain differs by the age of on-set with the strokes. disease that impairs thinking and younger person progressing more Markesbery expects great results behavior, an estimated 2.5 million rapidly, and the older person probably » . from the stroke program. "The best American adults are affected. AD is the having 3 Sl0W€Y €0UF5€· A way to treat stroke is to prevent stroke. m0s[ common form of dementing An absolute diagnosis can only be r .` We need to find what the risk factors illness, which causes declines in made upon examination of brain tissue, tunnnunnuunuuunuuuunnuuuuuuuunnun:ununnuuuuuunu uSu_allYatautOpSy‘ADbmu?SShOW · 1 sen1le plaques and neurofibrillary ( J _ tangles in those areas of the brain rl/I6 yg {0 responsible for memory and mtellectual , l , function. Alzhe1mer’s patients have i and ZM? and 66 CZ SPOAZSWWN been found to lack the brain chemical, . . acet lcholine, which is involved in the jb}- 7ZOt tméz prociessing of memory by the brain. · · ;; Currentl there is no treatment but with 506Zal t00· available toystop or reverse the mental deterioration characteristic of AD. · unuunnuuuuunuuu Besides the Alzheimer’s and stroke programs, a lot of the work that goes on are and prevent stroke by treating those lntellcmual ftmctltms and in the abllltY at the Ccmér is teaching health {,,CtO,.s_ [O perform routine &Ct{Vjti€S_ professionals how to better care for the . HEY having Well Organized acute ··It·S vm-Y dcm€aning’,7 Says elderly. "We’re trying to understand stroke units and people totally Markcsbery. "It’s about the most committed to stroke, we’ll improve our demeaning di$€&$€ that mai'! has- It V takes away one’s ability to think and to reason. That’s really what we’re all about as human beings, and if we can’t do those things, it takes away the UK 6