Paul Savramis: Alzheimer’s All-Stars

Paul Savramis

In October, the Rising Stars Youth Foundation played in its 11th annual Alzheimer’s All-Star Classic game. According to foundation founder Paul Savramis, these are some of the most prestigious basketball tournament events in the New York area. However, the games are so much more than the culmination of the players’ time on the court.

Paul Savramis has been involved with the Alzheimer’s All-Star Classic for nearly a decade, shortly after meeting with tournament founder Gordon Thomas. He says that Thomas has energy and passion unlike any other and is a former New York Knicks draft pick. Paul and a few select members of his organization decided to become involved with the Alzheimer’s All-Star game after being led through an experience at the LI Alzheimer’s Foundation. He says that being emerged among people affected by the disease spurred his passion to help.

The Alzheimer’s All-Star tournament is fun for the players, but Paul Savramis says these types of games serve a greater purpose, and that is to spread awareness. He explains that Alzheimer’s is a disease that can affect anyone at any time, and here wishes to share more information on the condition.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

According to Paul Savramis, Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. Is a progressive disease that deteriorates the part of the brain that controls everything from language and thought to memory. Alzheimer’s often progresses quickly, and can lead to a significant reduction in a person’s ability to care for themselves day-to-day.

Paul Savramis also notes that Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly 6 million Americans, and the majority of these people are over age 65.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease does not come on all at once. Paul Savramis says that many people notice minor changes to their cognitive function over time. These may include:

  • Reduced ability to plan or solve common problems. An example here might be forgetting to pay recurring bills or memory span problems that might pull someone’s attention away from an enjoyable task long before what they consider normal.
  • Losing track of time. Paul Savramis explains that confusion with time and places is a common early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. While this can happen to anyone at any time, people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s are likely to forget what day of the week it is often and have trouble accepting the date and time when told.
  • Vision changes. Things like cataracts and nearsightedness are common with age. But, changes with spatial relationships, such as a waning ability to judge distance and contrast, may be a sign of early Alzheimer’s.
  • Trouble with words. While we all struggle occasionally finding the right word, Paul Savramis notes that people with Alzheimer’s may begin calling familiar objects by more of a description than their proper name. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s might call their watch a wrist clock or their television a picture box.
  • Poor judgment. Poor judgment comes in many forms, including over-spending money or being rude for no reason.
  • Change in personality. People living with Alzheimer’s may experience a sharp and drastic change in their personality. A normally loving grandfather might, for example, suddenly lash out at young children for making too much noise. Similarly, Paul Savramis says that people with Alzheimer’s may begin to withdraw from social activities, such as family gatherings or attending sporting events.
  • Routine tasks become difficult. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease find that simple tasks, such as making coffee or parking at the grocery store, are more difficult with each passing day.

Paul Savramis says that Alzheimer’s can affect anyone at any time. One of his greatest hopes is that the Alzheimer’s All-Star Classics help to spread awareness of the disease and that everyone learns the warning signs so that they can help themselves or their loved ones better cope with progressive memory loss.

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