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Everyone ages, and with the aging process comes a variety of health challenges — one of the cruelest being Alzheimer's disease. But researchers at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging are waging an all-out war against the disease.

The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) is a powerhouse in the field of aging research — one of only 10 U.S. centers to receive a prestigious Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC) designation from the federal government in 1985, and 30 years later remains a National Institute on Aging-funded ADC.

In addition to the human suffering caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias, there is an enormous financial strain on the health care system and families, and as the baby boomer generation continues to age, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise exponentially.

Finding a cure for Alzheimer's is SBCoA's ultimate goal, but finding ways to help people stave off dementia by just five years — whether through medicines or lifestyle changes — would make an enormous impact on the cost of patient care and the emotional stress experienced by the families of a loved one stricken by dementia. To that end, SBCoA received approximately $7 million in research support in 2014 to explore ways to treat, prevent or cure the scourge of dementia.

In addition to research programs, SBCoA offers outreach, education and support. Telemedicine programs deliver support to caregivers statewide, while programs such as the African-American Dementia Outreach Partnership work with local agencies to offer university resources to those who can most benefit from them. Health fairs, memory screenings and presentations serve as opportunities for experts to assess and respond to the needs of the community.

For more information on the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, visit www.centeronaging.uky.edu.