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How to prepare for Alzheimer's

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Help with feeding
In this 2012 file photo, Carol Shapiro feeds her husband, Alan Shapiro, during lunch at Alan's group home in Bloomington, Minn. Alan, 62, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2006.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

For more than a decade, Alanna Shaikh has witnessed her father's memory and cognitive ability decline as a result of Alzheimer's. The experience has compelled her to prepare for the disease, which is genetically transmitted.

"The more things my hands know how to do, the more things that I can be happy and busy doing when my brain's not running the show anymore," she said in a TED Talk.

Shaikh will join The Daily Circuit Thursday Feb. 28 to talk about preparing for the disease. Reisa Sperling, associate professor in neurology at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital, will also join the discussion.

"Alzheimer's robs people of who they are, particularly memory, but it also causes changes in personality and eventually all cognitive domains," Sperling said. "From the science point of view, it was a window into understanding the parts of the brain that have always fascinated me."