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Published May 07, 2009, 10:01 PM

HBO special to feature ND family with Alzheimer's

Tioga, ND (WDAY TV) - An unprecedented look at Alzheimer’s disease will feature a North Dakota family WDAY 6 News has followed for the past two years. Next week, HBO will air "The Alzheimer's Project." The Demoe family of Tioga, North Dakota is part of the documentary, because they carry a rare mutation that scientists say is key in research.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Tioga, ND (WDAY TV) - An unprecedented look at Alzheimer’s disease will feature a North Dakota family WDAY 6 News has followed for the past two years. Next week, HBO will air "The Alzheimer's Project."

The Demoe family of Tioga, North Dakota is part of the documentary, because they carry a rare mutation that scientists say is key in research.

We first met the Demoes in the oil fields of western North Dakota. A hard working family, tight knit, fun loving, and carriers of a rare genetic mutation that has five of the six Demoe children battling Alzheimer’s early in their lives.

“It was a real emotional couple of days.”

Karla Hornstein of Fargo is the only sibling who does not carry the mutation. She has been instrumental in getting the family into cutting edge research in Pittsburgh we saw first hand. Because the Demoes are so rare, HBO is profiling the space age research into their disease.

“When you forget about everything that happens and they kind of took us back and they went through the whole history of it all and that was very hard and they have given themselves to research and the public, they are out there working and it is not easy to go public with it.”

Even since our series with the Demoes, the siblings have watched as the disease has progressed with some of them. Still, they have been willing to take part in the HBO special, knowing of the film's impact.

It really was an amazing experience, it is hard once after watching it, you can talk about it but after seeing it for real it is like oh my gosh and that is what we are living and that is hard.

Just one family, but brothers and sisters with a story of battling an insidious disease, and how they may help hold the key in stopping it.

“It is wonderful for their children to see what they have done because know the next step is their children.”

The Alzheimer’s project starts Sunday night on HBO. The Demoe family will be featured Tuesday night at 7:00.

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