Dougherty County ranks 7th in Alzheimer’s prevalence nationwide

Alzheimer's disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 10:20 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The first-ever county-level estimates of the prevalence of people with Alzheimer’s dementia, in all 3,142 counties across all 50 states, were released at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Researchers found the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the East and Southeastern regions of the U.S.

This research is giving new insight into Alzheimer’s and dementia rates, specifically in Dougherty County.

Megan Wilson, program manager of the Alzheimer’s Association, says this is the first-ever county-level estimate of the prevalence of people with Alzheimer’s.

“For the first time ever, we have data that tells us the prevalence of the disease in each of Georgia’s counties,” said Wilson. “And Dougherty County happens to be in the top 10 of the country.”

List of the top 10 counties with Alzheimer's prevalence across the U.S. (The Alzheimer's...
List of the top 10 counties with Alzheimer's prevalence across the U.S. (The Alzheimer's Association).(WALB)

“As we learn more and get deeper into research, we’re just gonna get better and better. We’re also going to be able to use that data to get better at providing services to people who need it the most,” Wilson said.

A new partnership between the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center of South Georgia means new support groups and care partner resources for those in South Georgia.

And for those impacted by the disease, Wilson says you aren’t alone.

“The advice I would offer everyone is to tell their story,” she said. “Definitely to find some way to get involved. They’re certainly not alone, and there are communities ready to embrace them. Because nobody has to talk through this alone.”