Liz McCormick Published

Alzheimer's & Dementia University Travels to Shepherd U.


Over 200,000 people under the age of sixty-five suffer from Alzheimer’s in the United States. Around 4,000 of those live in West Virginia.

The Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia Chapter hosted, “Alzheimer’s & Dementia University” on Shepherd University’s campus Thursday to raise awareness about the disease that affects thousands of West Virginia families.

The program’s goal is to give families and professional caregivers a chance to get together and talk about Alzheimer’s; to give people a place to pose frequently asked questions about the disease.

The event is in its third year, traveling from county to county across the state.

Amy Ernst is the Training and Education Director for the West Virginia Chapter. She says there are over 5 million people in the United States with Alzheimer’s.

“We call it a journey, because Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal illness,” she said, “it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It’s not just a disease for the person, it’s a family disease.”

Ernst says there are around 36,000 people over the age of 65 who have the disease in West Virginia.