A lzheimer's disease affects about 5.2 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer's Association. In 2010, it was responsible for over 5,000 death in Texas.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is participating in a national screening day.
They will provide free Alzheimer's screening from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
People over the age of 65 are most at risk, but it isn't limited to that age group.
One to two percent of the population have a hereditary form of Alzheimer's. Symptoms for this type can show up at a younger age.
" I t's a pretty quick progressing disease. It's process is a period of about 5 to 7 years from start to a pretty advanced stage. The person loses memory and they become totally dependent," said Ravi Bharadwaj, associate professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Other symptoms include confusion about time and place, problems with speaking or writing, poor judgement, and changes in mood and personality.
P revention and a cure remain a mysteries for this disease.
" I t ' s a cruel, disease. Very cruel and it is especially cruel for families because they have to deal with the fact that they're going to have to say goodbye for a long time," said Penny Glaesman, executive director of The Cottages at Quail Creek.
P roviding care can be stressful for family members because people with Alzheimer's need constant attention and care.
Places like The C ottages at Quail Creek specialize in assisted living with those who have Azheimer's.
"W e give them the opportunity to be able to be a family again. So when they come into our building to see their loved one, they are the spouse again, or their daughter again. They don't have to worry about mom's shower or whether dad needs assistance with shaving or anything like that," said Glaesman.