CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month, and Charleston city leaders are discussing ways to provide support to patients and their caregivers.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 95,000 South Carolinians are living with the disease. On Monday, Mayor John Tecklenburg held a roundtable at the Waring Senior Center, where he and other officials shared resources for community members, such as the Mayor’s Office on Aging.
“We want our citizens to be as healthy as possible and live a great quality of life. And where’s it start? With your own health and wellness,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.
Similar to the heart, Dr. Jacobo Mintzer said maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help keep your brain healthy too.
MOA Coordinator Jamie Roper said they are calling on local organizations to adopt one of the four pillars of health and wellness – social engagement, cognitive learning, exercise, and nutrition.
“We want to motivate them to get active and to get moving and we want to give them the tools to help them be successful in this,” said Roper. “We will have chefs that will help them in healthy eating. We have dance instructors if they want to take a dance class.”
According to Beth Sulkowski with the Alzheimer’s Association South Carolina Chapter, Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological illness found in more than six million Americans, 65 and older.
While someone has yet to survive the disease, Sulkowski said the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a drug called Aduhelm that impacts its progression. One of the first of its kind.
“Before that, all of the FDA-approved medications we have only treat symptoms. They don’t treat an underlying progression. But that’s really where we need to go to find our cure,” said Sulkowski.
According to experts, Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and South Carolina.
The Mayor’s Office on Aging provides resources for families dealing with the disease. To contact them, call 843-577-1306.
You can also find help here.