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My Generation

Alzheimer's: a Mission to Remember

How would an Alzheimer’s epidemic affect you and your family?

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Famous Faces of Alzheimer's
My Generation host Leeza Gibbons and Maria Shriver have more in common than just working in television: Both have parents who had Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's has no cure. It devastates families and has the potential to bankrupt the nation's health care system. But Shriver, Gibbons and celebrities like legendary University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, are shining new light on this dark disease — and the reflection is hopeful.

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7 Summits for Alzheimer's
At age 50, Alan Arnette retired early to take care of his mother, Ida, who had Alzheimer's. After eight hard years, Alzheimer's had depleted the family savings, caused rifts in the family and finally, in 2009, taken Ida Arnette's life. Now, Alan Arnette devotes his mountain climbing to Alzheimer's victims and caregivers, having reached all seven continents' highest peaks and raised $1 million for Alzheimer's research.

Alzheimer's: Soothing With Music
Alzheimer's patients placed in care facilities may feel even more disconnected among faces and surroundings they don't recognize. But play a piece of familiar music and the patient feels more at ease. Better yet, research suggests that not only can music soothe neural pathways, but songs we identify with our particular childhoods and cultural eras can give Alzheimer's patients an anchor to cling to. My Generation has more on this new development.

Reading for Retention
Could reading hold the power to retaining memory as we age? Howard Berg thinks so. The world's fastest speed reader, Berg is also a scientist and speaker, teaching others — especially boomers concerned about aging and dementia — how to read, comprehend and remember information more quickly.

You may also like: Alternative treatments for dementia.

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