Alzheimer's disease study underway in Starr County

1 year 7 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, February 01 2022 Feb 1, 2022 February 01, 2022 7:52 AM February 01, 2022 in News - Local

A study trying to figure out who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease is underway in Starr County.

The El Faro Health & Therapeutics Center in Rio Grande City is looking for participants.

"We're trying to find answers to a disease that we really don't know enough about,” said Dr. James Falcon with the El Faro Health & Therapeutics Center. “Right now, there are no magic cures. There's no magic pill that we can offer patients, and so any data we can collect is going to be useful going forward."

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The effort in Starr County is part of the Bio-Hermes study, which will track 45 patients over several months. Dr. Falcon says it's happening across 13 different places. In South Texas, Alzheimer’s affects families in high numbers.

"In South Texas, I think in particular, we have a very high incidence, somewhere around 20 percent, which is very high,” Dr. Falcon said. “You're talking about a disease which affects every single family."

Officials are looking for people 60 to 85, with or without symptoms. Patients will get a memory screening and contribute to perhaps finding future answers.

"Typically, that research is done around major medical centers in bigger cities,” Dr. Falcon said. “Houston, Dallas, etc. So this is kind of a unique opportunity for the local population to get involved.”

Dr. Falcon hopes the several-month study will turn into more research, and perhaps eventually lead to a better way to treat the disease that affects so many.

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