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New Alzheimer's Study

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Marty Reiswig's family has a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease. The 36-year-old could find out if he will also get it but he chooses not to know. "Becoming closer and closer to the age of onset is kind of like a huge storm on the horizon. And some days I want to know if that storm is real and is going to hit me, and other days I'm terrified to know."

"Familial Alzheimer's Disease" accounts for just 1% of all Alzheimer's cases. Reiswig's grandfather had it. His father started suffering from the brain-destroying condition in his early fifties. Marty's mom Bonnie takes care of him. "He has to be feed. He hasn't been able to speak since last June."

"Familial Alzheimer's Disease" is caused by an inherited gene mutation. Heather Snyder is the director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer's Association. "If you have one of these genetic misspellings you will develop Alzheimer's disease. Approximately 99.9% of the time."

Reiswig is taking part in the dominantly inherited Alzheimer network study. It recently showed that brain scans can pick up changes 20 years before the first symptoms show. "Our genetic problem might be the solution for so many other people. And might actually help cure Alzheimer's."

And he has advice for Alzheimer's sufferers and their families – ask for help when you need it.  

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