ST. CLOUD - There are about 100,000 people in Minnesota and 5.4 million people across the country who are dealing with complications from Alzheimer's disease.

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness month. The Alzheimer's Association is working to spread information and raise awareness about this disease, which is growing with the baby boomer generation growing older.

Katie Rice is the program services specialist with the Minnesota-North Dakota chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, she says there are still a lot of misconceptions about the disease. She says people often tell her that they keep losing their keys or wallet and are concerned that they have Alzheimer's.

"As we age losing are keys or wallet is normal from time to time but we have the ability to retrace our steps, someone with Alzheimer's is not going to be able to do that."

The Alzheimer's Association is encouraging you to become familiar with the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or wok.
  4. Confusion with times, dates and places.
  5. Vision problems or difficulty reading and judging distance.
  6. Having trouble following or joining conversations.
  7. Misplacing things and not being able to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawing from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

Rice says there are also preventive steps you can take to help keep your brain healthy. Having good nutrition and exercise habits have been shown to help stave off Alzheimer's. Maintaining social connections and playing strategy/educational games can also play a part in prevention.

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