As the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that can cause crippling memory loss. It affects about 50 million Americans.

Monday night Dr. Daniel Potts, a neurologist, shared his documentary about the disease and spoke on how to deal with it.

“Take it seriously at the very first signs, and don’t delay, and don’t be in denial,” Potts said. “If you think there is a problem seek care early. Go to the primary care doctor first, and get a work up started and telling them what’s going on.”

The experts that spoke Monday emphasized that identity is something that can never be taken away by a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

“Alzheimer’s doesn’t create a shell of a person,” Potts said. “It is a disease, but people can live and be vibrant and create. We can [still]have interactions with them.”

They stressed how important it is to plan ahead and make sure your loved one is taken care of.

“Don’t be in denial, accept it upfront so you can move ahead and begin the proper plans to ensure that you and your loved one have a quality of life after the diagnosis,” Potts said.

It is important to make those plans and decisions when the patient is still in the right mindset to do so.

“I would encourage them to start planning early,” Potts said “When you have Alzheimer’s or dementia even in the early stages it may be too late to make plans that would you to retain control.”

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