DENVER -- Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen's experience with Alzheimer's disease is putting the focus on the same struggle of more than five million Americans.
Dr. Benzi Kluger, an Alzheimer's specialist at the University of Colorado Hospital, says the disease can affect every area of a patient's life. “In the case of Pat Bowlen, he's reached a point in terms of memory and thinking problems where he's no longer able to manage his organization.”
Alzheimer's can strike anyone, whether it runs in the family or not, but researchers are finding better ways to identify the disease in its earliest stages.
New discoveries include an eye exam that spots signs of Alzheimer’s before symptoms develop.
There is even an online test patients can take at home. A doctor then decides if they may have the disease.
New medications are prolonging memory function. All is not lost for every Alzheimer's patient, while every case is different, many patients retain memories of things that were the most meaningful in their lives.
While that isn't the average experience, Pat Bowlen's family has expressed that they believe his passion for life, and love for the fans will always remain strong for him.
Additional information about Alzheimer's and resources: Alzheimer's Association