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Silver Alert criteria now includes younger people with dementia

Alzheimer's Association pushed for the change

SAN ANTONIO – When the statewide Silver Alert system was created in 2007, the Texas Department of Public Safety's age criteria was limited to persons 65 years of age or older. But this year, thanks to the Alzheimer's Association, Texas lawmakers expanded it to include anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

"It's a new law now where there isn't an age restriction, because although it's more rare, we do know people under the age of 65 can develop Alzheimer's," said Ginny Funk, director of programs for the San Antonio and South Texas chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

She said researchers believe "the disease is actually in our brain at a much younger time. It's just that the symptoms for most individuals don't appear until after the age of 65."

For more information about the Silver Alert criteria, click here.

The Alzheimer's Association also has resources and information about the tendency to wander as the disease progresses.

To help fund aid research into a disease that Funk says "destroys the brain," a Walk to End Alzheimer's is planned for Oct. 19. To register, click here.


About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.