Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Texas ranks fourth in cases, and second in the number of deaths according to Texas Health and Human Services. Dr. KJ Oommen, a neurologist with Covenant, says one of the first signs of Alzheimer's is short-term memory loss.
"Grandpa can remember all of his escapades but can not remember what he ate for breakfast," Oommen said.
While patients are treated symptomatically for all stages of the condition, it requires much more research to determine the root factors.
"We are still in the process of gathering data but there are so many theories, and none of them have given us a total understanding of the disease."
Along with the extensive studies to combat Alzheimer's, doctors say simply teaching the public more about the disease leads to more precautions.
"A lot of times when people misplace a key the first thing they ask me when they come to the doctors office is if they have the disease."
Oommen says there are plenty of ways to help protect yourself from getting the disease.
"You eat a good diet and there are a lot of proponents of eating a good diet to prevent Alzheimer's. Exercise, maintain good blood flow and circulation across the body and good habits along with a stress free life."
Dr. Oommen also recommends to take in as much vitamin D as you can as it can help you prevent the disease.