KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Congressman Dennis Moore lived with Alzheimer's for years. He and his wife, Stephene, shared their difficult journey with KSHB 41 News in 2019.
After his passing Tuesday, the Alzheimer's Association remembers him as an advocate for awareness.
"It really gives other people that hall pass to go ahead and do the same thing," Juliette Bradley, communications director for the local Alzheimer's Association chapter, said. "We strongly encourage talking about this. This is important. We want to kick the stigma of Alzheimer's to the curb."
The Heart of America chapter serves the 50,000 people in the area living with Alzheimer's and dementia, hosting support groups for those folks and their families to better navigate the effects of the disease.
"The more you know about Alzheimer's disease, which you can find on alz.org, the more you're able to help each other," Bradley said. "The Alzheimer's Association is here to make sure that nobody goes through this journey alone."
Dr. Mignon Makos, a neurologist with St. Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute, said new medication, aducanumab,
is mostly aimed at younger patients to stop the progression of the disease.
Makos said it could be a stepping stone to helping older, more advanced patients.
"The research is going in the right direction and maybe this isn't the drug yet but maybe it's coming," he said.
Makos said many Alzheimer's patients have a family history of the disease, but there are many ways to help reduce the risk.
"Treating hypertension, controlling blood sugar, increasing exercise, improving diet — albeit [in] observational studies — may have some benefit in the bigger picture," Makos said.