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      Screening for Alzheimer TMs to detect it early

      With diabetes as one of the greatest risk factors for Alzheimer TMs Disease and people getting diagnosed with the disease at a younger and younger age, the South Texas Behavioral Health Center wanted to make sure people were up to date with their Alzheimer TMs screenings.

      Sixty-four-year-old Bill Shannon's father died of Alzheimer's.

      "It's always a worry that it could happen to me," said Shannon.

      He said it was heartbreaking to see his father's health deteriorate.

      "He didn't know me and then he did know me, and then he didn't know me.

      It was quite sad to watch," said Shannon.

      Shannon said he can't afford not to get checked yearly for the disease."It has to be after it happened to my father.

      You don't think anything's going to happen to you until sometimes it's too late.

      That's why I think this is a good thing because if they see something there|well, I know they can't cure Alzheimer's, but I know they can slow it down," said Shannon.

      Certified Dementia Care Specialist Laura Matos said those diagnosed with Alzheimer TMs keep getting younger and younger.

      "We are very concerned because we are seeing cases of memory impairment showing up at earlier ages like 55, 56 and 60 years old when it's more expected in the 70's," said Matos.

      Six years ago, Matos and other colleagues at the South Texas Behavioral Health Center in Edinburg started health screenings to determine memory impairment.

      "Having an early diagnosis, you can start taking your medications that are going to control the progression of the disease, she said.

      "If you can control the progression, you will be functional longer."

      It only takes a few simple questions and the screening is done.

      Those with a low score are encouraged to see their doctor for a full medical exam.

      These medical professionals hope the screenings will increase awareness and help slow down the progression of a disease that 5.1 million Americans battle.

      Matos said it TMs helpful for those who have diabetes to control that disease in order to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer TMs.

      Some warning signs of dementia include forgetting people TMs names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills and confusion over daily routines.