BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) – Caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s can be a difficult task. But in the current day and age many tests and treatments are available.

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out simple tasks.

This disease can be especially difficult for caretakers. However, specialists like Sharon Covert are very knowledgeable on the disease and can help teach the future generations.

Covert visited Bluefield State University to speak to Katherine St. Clair’s Clinical class. Covert says nowadays we have access to resources that are vital to the treatment of the disease.

“Medicare and Medicaid are covering them. They just approved more than one PET scan to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s. This is an unprecedented time in the history of this disease,” said Covert.

The presentation focused on the more personal aspects of Alzheimer’s.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association , the main goals of treatment are to maintain quality of life, maximize function in daily activities, and enhance cognition.

Covert says that West Virginia plays an important part in Alzheimer’s studies.

She adds that some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s may mirror those of one suffering drug abuse.

“Just recognizing some of the signs and symptoms of dementia can mimic those symptoms. Maybe not knowing where you’re going, or not knowing short term things,” added Covert.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers assistance for those seeking information on warning signs, understanding the diagnosis, changes in the brain, caregiving issues, and home safety.