Local radio/TV legend battles Alzheimer's - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Local radio/TV legend battles Alzheimer's

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Joe Miot is the program director for Miracle 89.1 FM Joe Miot is the program director for Miracle 89.1 FM

75 year old Joe Miot has spent the last 60 years entertaining many here in the ArkLaTex, on the radio and on television. But he now realizes his years to come will be spent battling Alzheimer's Disease.

"At first it scared me because I thought I was going wacky," says Joe who works as program director of Miracle 89.1 in Shreveport.

While chatting about his career and his battle against a disease with no known cure, Joe found himself stuttering a number of times - because thoughts and names would drop from him mind with no warning.

"It's just zoom, zoom, zoom."

Within the first 15 minutes of our conversation, Joe made an admission that he's likely to make for years to come.

"When you came here, you told me what your name was. I couldn't tell you, if you held a gun to my head, I couldn't tell you what your name is."

Only 7 minutes after meeting Joe, we met all over again. As understanding and comforting as possible, I told him my name again.

"Doug Warner," Joe repeated.

"I'm going to come back at you with it. Number one, I'm going to say that. It helps it to say it. Doug Warner, is that correct?", Joe asks, just to double check.

Joe's family doctor is Dr. David Henry.

"Early signs are persistent memory problems. It's short term memory. It's stored in a different place in the brain," explains Dr. Henry.

Most significant memories or what's called executive functions - driving a car or eating - remain in tact. But even those long term memories can eventually be impact.

"They may be able to mechanically drive a car. But if they get into a very urgent crisis situation, they can't think fast enough to keep themselves out of danger," say Dr. Henry.

"My wife and friends who hear me stuttering, they know what my situation is," adds Joe, who clearly enjoys the company of others who are understanding to his battle.

Tests are available for early detection of Alzheimer's. Cognitive tests examine naming, memory, language and attention issues. And there are more controversial genetic tests which can reveal the presence of a gene or genes that lead to Alzheimer's.

You can join Joe and many other's at the 'Walk to end Alzheimer's. It's Saturday morning at 9am at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. There is no charge to participate in the walk but donations will be accepted.

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