UMMC Aims to Raise Awareness on Alzheimer's Action DayPublished on Monday, September 17, 2012By: Matt WesterfieldThe University of Mississippi Medical Center put the spotlight on Alzheimer’s disease on Friday, Sept. 21, in an effort to raise awareness about the disease and the importance of research by inviting employees and students to a brown bag lunch presentation and ice cream social as part of national Alzheimer’s Action Day. Dr. Alexander Auchus, answers questions after his presentation "Deciphering Alzheimer's Disease" Sept. 21 which was in celebration Alzheimer Action Day sponsored by the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Mind Center.UMMC's Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center sponsored the event and encouraged everyone to wear something purple — the official color of the American Alzheimer’s Association — to help lift cultural consciousness about the disease which affects more than 53,000 Mississippians and counting.Dr. Alexander Auchus, professor and chair of neurology, delivered a lunch-time discussion detailing the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options for the disease at the School of Health Related Professions. "The incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer's disease doubles with every 5 years of age over 65,” Auchus said. “So as Mississippi ages, we expect to see more and more people developing Alzheimer's."All employees and students were invited to the presentation, where MIND Center T-shirts were given to the first 50 attendees. After the presentation, attendees were treated to free ice cream outside the Norman C. Nelson student union.The MIND Center also partnered with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter to encourage all Mississippians to “Paint it Purple!” for Alzheimer’s Action Day, a statewide effort to show support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them. September is World Alzheimer’s Month.There were 916 Mississippi deaths related to Alzheimer’s in 2008. By 2025, it is estimated that 65,000 Mississippians will have the disease. UMMC’s MIND Center is a major research initiative dedicated to discovering causes and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.