Chris Marx, 45, has watched her family deal with Alzheimer's for many years. In 1987, her grandfather was diagnosed with the disease. He went from a strong 6'2", 200 pound man to a feeble 100 pound shell of himself when he passed away six years later. Her grandmother also passed away due to complications from Alzheimer's several years later.
The disease really hit home, however, when her father started experiencing memory problems at age 60. He worked third shift, so at first the family thought he was just tired. Then, one day her mother received a call from her father's work asking if he was coming in that day. They later found out that he became lost on his way to a place he had worked for 7 years and immediately knew his condition had escalated. He was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2000 and passed away 15 years later.
Chris worries she may suffer the same fate as her grandparents and father, and now that she has children of her own, she wants to do everything in her power to make sure they don't have to watch her succumb to the disease as well. "I catch myself forgetting things and ask myself, 'Is it starting?'" she said. "I don't want my children to have to watch me slip away like I did with my father."
Chris, her mother and her siblings have all signed up for the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry to help move critical prevention research forward.