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Alzheimer's Conference, breaking down barriers for best treatments

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FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --

The symptoms are familiar--the memory loss, the mood swings, and the clumsiness.

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 30 million people worldwide.

"It's almost like they live in a new reality but they still exist in ours," said UCSF Alzheimer's and Memory Center Andres Sviercovich.

The Latino community is especially hard hit.

In the Central Valley, more than 44,000 people are living with the disease and the victims are one-and-a-half times more likely to be Latino than other types of Caucasian.

Experts say Hispanics are more likely to suffer from other health issues that contribute to Alzheimer's -- cardiovascular problems like diabetes and heart disease.

They are also a lot less likely to reach out for help.

The Central Valley Alzheimer’s Caregiver and Wellness Conference in Spanish is underway @ABC30 @GracielaABC and Univision 21 host Lupita Lomeli are co-emceeing. Come to 1802 E. California in Fresno. It ends at noon. The event is free. pic.twitter.com/1Up9Rgcmat

— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30) June 30, 2018

"There's a lot of stigmas that the Hispanic community has regarding dementia because they think it's a mental disorder when it's really a neurocognitive disease," said Sviercovich.

The Central Valley Alzheimer's Caregiver and Wellness Conference is a great place to get help and they hold the conference twice a year, once in English and once in Spanish.

On Saturday, they gave free health screenings and resources to help people think about treatment, social interaction for patients, living arrangements, and legal needs.

Action News Graciela Moreno helped encourage people to take the situation seriously.

Doctors explained how to recognize when dementia is coming so people are prepared to find the best options, not the first options, for their family members.

(Copyright ©2018 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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