WTVM Editorial 3/31/17: Columbus Memory Project

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Last week, Columbus could enter the history books again.

Once famous for being the site of the last Civil War battle and the town where John Pemberton invented the Coca-Cola formula, Columbus now could become a landmark city in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson announced that Columbus will become the first city in America to test every elderly citizen for Alzheimer's, a devastating brain illness that robs one of their memories, language skills and more.

Ronald Reagan succumbed to Alzheimer's and so did Rosa Parks and Charlton Heston.

Now, the Columbus Memory Project, as it's called will be done over the next three years, by the Alzheimer's prevention registry.

They will offer every resident 65 and older a free test to establish a baseline number for their memory capabilities.

Anyone aged 55 to 75 will also be able to submit a confidential DNA sample through a free test kit using a simple cheek swab. that test can help them learn more about their genetic predisposition to develop Alzheimer's.

We applaud the efforts of any group battling such a debilitating and ultimately deadly disease.

Columbus residents could play a leading role in creating a large baseline study sample that could - over time - track memory and other cognitive skills.

The Columbus Memory Project could play an important role in helping millions of others who will someday face the tragic effects of Alzheimer's disease.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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