Alzheimer's Association's Advocacy Day Sheds Light on Devastating Effects of Disease

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

It's estimated one in three seniors die from the disease or another form of dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association held its annual Advocacy Day at the State House on Wednesday.

Maine lawmakers discussed proposed legislation to combat the economic impact of the disease as well as address the needs of families struggling with Alzheimer's.

One bill proposes a study of an employee-financed paid medical leave program.

Family members of those with the disease spoke about their experiences.

Researchers from the Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor detailed their Alzheimer's research initiatives.

"It's genuinely possible that the treatment of Alzheimer's disease might come from Maine. And so I think the more that we work toward the cure, and the treatment, and the prevention of Alzheimer's disease in Maine, the better it will be for everybody," said Gareth Howell, Associate Professor at Jackson Lab.

"Our persons that are affected by the disease love the chance to think that they're sharing something with a legislator who's making decisions that's impacting them," said Laurie Trenholm, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter.

An estimated 27,000 Mainers are living with Alzheimer's.

By 2025, that number is expected to reach 35,000.