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Published May 17, 2012, 07:51 PM

Presentation Gives Alzheimer's Answers to Those Affected

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Grand Forks woman got peace of mind Thursday as she takes care of her brother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at an early age.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Grand Forks woman got peace of mind Thursday as she takes care of her brother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at an early age.

The disease affects nearly 5.5 million Americans each year, and on Thursday care-givers got some answers about the disease.

Linda Fuller was one of more than a dozen people who attended an Alzheimer's presentation at the Grand Forks Public Library, hoping for some answers about what her brother is going through.

Fuller noticed a change in her brother Mike just a couple of years ago. He started forgetting things.

"This is happening more and more at a younger age. He will just be 57 in August and it's hard," Fuller said.

Fuller's brother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and just the other day, when the two were out in the garden, he left without warning.

"We were working in our flower beds, supposedly he was going to the garage and after about 10 minutes he didn't come back and sure enough he was halfway down the block," Fuller said.

Fuller's brother is in a nursing home now. On Thursday, she and a growing number of caretakers attended an Alzheimer's presentation to find out more about the disease.

"In North Dakota alone our numbers have tripled. The number of people living with Alzheimer's disease in the past 10 years, so it's something we will continue to see as people live longer," Ashley Magner with the Alzheimer's Association said.

The Alzheimer's Association provides education, consultations and support groups for people dealing with Alzheimer's.

"There is currently almost 5 1/2 million people in the U.S. living with Alzheimer's disease. We just had a monumental appearance with the National Alzheimer's Plan," Magner said.

A plan the Obama administration is putting millions of dollars toward for prevention and treatment. Helping people like Fuller who live with the disease everyday.

"I think for me that will be the hardest time is when he absolutely doesn't know that I'm his sister," Fuller said.

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