Learn facts about brain at meeting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

How healthy is your brain? Alzheimer’s is officially the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for those ages 65 and older. However, recent studies show that it may cause even more deaths than official sources recognize. We now know that it kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease actually increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010, while deaths from other major diseases decreased. Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

In 2010, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) launched The MIND (Memory Impairment Neurodegenerative Dementia) Center, a major research initiative to help understand the causes and develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Partially funded by a $26 million competitive research grant from the National Institutes of Health which was awarded to Dr. Tom Mosley, founding director, The MIND Center is the lead institution for the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) Neurocognitive Study, the most comprehensive long-term study on dementia risk ever undertaken and the largest study in the United States to address racial disparities in dementia risk.

Led by Dr. Mosley, a nationally recognized leader in the study of cognitive decline, The MIND Center combines pioneering research, state-of-the-art brain imaging, and genetic technologies to make discoveries about Alzheimer’s causes-and potentially change the course of everyone affected by this disease:

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Almost 5 million Americans

More than 40 million worldwide

At Merit Health, we have the privilege of hosting a night of learning and discussion at 5:15 p.m. Monday, May 15, during our Alzheimer’s support group. We will hear from registered nurse Denise Lafferty, chief of operations at the The MIND Center. We hope you will join us for information, support and education.

The Alzheimer’s group sponsored by Merit Health meets at 5:15 p.m. on the second Monday of every month in the magnolia room. It is facilitated by licensed social worker Alicia Norris and Jenny Townsend, business development director for the behavioral health unit at Merit Health Natchez.

For more information on the Alzheimer’s support group or BHU, please contact Townsend at 601-443-2365.

Alicia Norris is a licensed master social worker at Merit Health Natchez.