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Wednesday, August 3 2011, 11:17 PM CDT

MADISON (WMSN) -- Right now, more than five million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer's and twice as many as that are serving as caregivers for them.



The WALK TO END ALZHEIMER'S takes place in Madison on September 18th.  Proceeds help fund critical research aimed at preventing and finding a cure for the deadly disease.



Barbara Bendlin, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the UW Alzheimer's Research Center is among those studying ways to stop the brain from shrinking, which is what happens to people living with the disease.   "If we see a group that develops the disease we can go back and see what the predictors are."



They're studying the makeup of the brains of 100 middle-aged people.  Half are at risk of developing the disease.  The study is near completion.  They're hoping the findings will lead to treatments, or early detection of Alzheimer's, which is the sixth leading cause of death.  Currently there is no cure.



The Alzheimer's Association is the second highest funder of research, behind only the the government.  AA is funding the UW study.



You can help in the fight against Alzheimer's by taking part, or donating to the Walk to End Alzheimer's in Madison on Sunday, September 18th.



For more information, and to donate to or join the FOX 47 team,  click here.

Join the Walk to End Alzheimer's

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