ABILENE, TX. — Alzheimer’s disease affects over five million people in the United States. 380 thousand of those people are in Texas, and over 9,000 are here in the Big Country.

Age, genetics and vascular issues play a role in this disease. It also affects the younger generations.

"There are many cases where folks who are younger than 65 years of age are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and what we call younger-onset Alzheimer’s,” says Abilene’s Alzheimer’s association regional director, Kristin Bishop.

Every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that by 2050 14 million people will develop this disease.

Hispanics and African Americans are at a higher risk of getting this disease.

“There are some connections to possibly vascular diseases and diabetes being more prominent in those groups,” says Bishop.

The association serves 14 counties in our region for free.

"Through support groups, programs, case management, information referral services, so our goal is to connect individuals who are walking the Alzheimer’s journey with resources that they need to be able to live their best life,” says Bishop.

The annual ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’ is taking place on September 15 at Rose Park to help raise funds for those affected in our communities.

For more information, go to http://act.alz.org/abilene.