Posterior Cortical Atrophy, or PCA, is a clinical syndrome that is most commonly due to Alzheimer's disease. People with PCA often come to the clinic because they are having trouble interpreting information they see with their eyes (known as "visual processing impairment"), rather than with symptoms of memory loss. Symptoms typically start with a person in their 50s, and because memory loss is the most common presenting symptom of Alzheimer's diseaes, PCA is referred to as an "atypical Alzheimer's disease."
CU Alzheimer's and Cognition Center faculty member and Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Dr. Victoria Pelak, is an expert in providing care for patients with PCA and she recognized the need for a specific support community for people with PCA and their families, friends, and care partners. Dr. Pelak notes that "the diagnosis of Posterior Cortical Atrophy is often delayed by years, and by the time patients are told that PCA is the cause of their symptoms, patients and their families are often overwhelmed. Our support group creates a community for education and support and is open to everyone."
The support group meets approximately every two months at the UCHealth Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus, but moved virtual at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The date of their next meeting is TBD. This event is free, and open to the public.
If you are interested in attending this meeting, please RSVP by emailing Jerri Lusk at firstname.lastname@example.org OR call 303-724-2184.
To learn more about PCA, go to www.ColoradoPCASupport.org
A Class for Alzheimer's Dementia Caregivers: Strategies & Techniques for Successful Communication
The University of Colorado Alzheimer's and Cognition Center is partnering with Jill Lorentz and her organization Summit Resilience Training to provide a class for dementia caregivers. This free event is for those who are experiencing or seeing memory loss in a loved one due to neurologic diseases such as, but not limited to, Alzheimer's and Lewy Body disease. These classes will be offered every other month, and cover different topics and challenges that families are faced with.
The director of the Memory Disorders Clinic, Samantha Holden, MD, says she is "thrilled to have hands on practical application of strategies and techniques for their patients."
The support group meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 1:30-3:30 pm at the Memory Disorders Clinic in Stapleton, although they are currently meeting virtually. Depending on the month, you will find either the beginner class, designed for someone with a new diagnosis or who has not attended the class before, or a continuum class, which will be a different topic every month, so you can continue to grow learning new skills, strategies and techniques. This class is free, and open to the public with registration.
To register, click here.
For more information, please call Jill Lorentz at 303-420-6988 or visit their website.
The Alzheimer's Association also provides many support groups for people living with Alzheimer's as well as caregivers, both in person and online. More information on their support groups can be found here.