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Memory Ride for Alzheimer's Research

Saturday, June 19, 2010 Research News J E 4
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July 24 Memory Ride Covers Miles, Brings Hope

WATERTOWN, Mass., June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of cyclists, from experienced to novice, are signing up for Memory Ride to raise money and awareness to fight Alzheimer's disease. Set for Saturday, July 24, Memory Ride offers a challenging 100-mile "century" ride, as well as a "metric century" of 62 miles and a 20-mile option.

Memory Ride benefits the Alzheimer's Association's research efforts into causes, treatments and cures for Alzheimer's, the degenerative, fatal brain disease that affects 5.3 million Americans.

Memory Ride grew from a small, family-inspired event to a cycling challenge attracting riders from throughout New England, and beyond. Starting and finishing in Devens, Massachusetts, the ride loops through the low rolling hills and country vistas of the Commonwealth's heartland into New Hampshire.

The Association is offering training and cycling information for casual riders and serious cyclists. Riders and volunteers can sign-up at www.memoryride.org . The event includes a pre-ride pasta dinner for riders on July 23 and a post-ride BBQ and party that are open to the public.  

"This disease is tremendously difficult for the people affected and for their families. The ride not only raises much needed money for research but also raises public awareness and understanding," said James Wessler, President/CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter.

Alzheimer's has significant impact on families -- emotionally, physically and financially. Although those over age 65 are at greater risk, it can strike someone as young as 40. The younger-onset version of Alzheimer's was documented in Still Alice, the bestselling novel by Massachusetts author Lisa Genova.  The book's success, along with a growing awareness about the disease is having an impact on earlier diagnosis and treatment.

"We are seeing significant increases in the number of people calling our 24/7 Helpline and seeking our services," Wessler said.  "We want people to reach out for information. An early diagnosis does make a difference in the course of the disease because there are treatments and lifestyle changes that may slow the progression of the symptoms."

The Alzheimer's Association, with headquarters in Watertown, has regional offices in Springfield, Raynham, and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH. They provide services and programs for those with Alzheimer's, family and professional caregivers in the form of support groups, a 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, advocacy efforts, research funding and education programs.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter

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