WXXI AM News

Summitt's Death Shines Light on Early Onset Alzheimer's

Jun 29, 2016

Based on national estimates, it's possible that as many as 1,200 people in the nine county Rochester region have early onset Alzheimer's disease.

The disease that claimed the life of legendary women's college basketball coach Pat Summitt Tuesday is often not diagnosed or misdiagnosed in people under 65.

"Because first of all, it's very common that physicians will not even consider that when someone that young comes in and starts talking about difficulties that they're having," says Teresa Galbier, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association of Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region. “Oftentimes they're going to rule it out by looking at depression and other types of disorders that affect that age group."

Caye Darnell of Nashville, Tennessee, the mother of Rochester Red Wings pitcher Logan Darnell, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2012 when she was 58.

"And it's tough on Logan, because he has to be away from home from the beginning of February to September or October," said Red Wings general manager Dan Mason. "So, it's tough on him knowing his relatives are all at home helping out and there's not much he can do." 

Logan decided to organize an event to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and to fund programs and services offered by the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Darnell and several of his teammates will be guest bartenders at Next Door at Wegmans at 3220 Monroe Avenue in Pittsford tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 585-760-5405 or at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/defending-hope-red-wings-alzheimers-association-team-up-at-next-door-tickets-25517396219.