I have heard people saying; ‘Oh, it’s simply aging and it’s untreatable, you know.’ Alzheimer’s is most definitely not a normal part of aging. Ask any family member who has cared for a loved one suffering from this illness. Alzheimer’s is different from normal aging. It can strike someone as young as forty. I don’t know when it began in my late husband’s brain as it crept up slowly but surely until my family realized that there was a problem. My husband showed signs that only I noticed at first when he was in his late 60’s but it took years before I managed to get him to see a geriatric doctor who specializes in Alzheimer’s and who gave the following diagnosis. ‘Dementia, probably Alzheimer’s.’
In the USA alone, there are about half a million individuals suffering from early-onset dementia. While Alzheimer’s is still incurable, it is not untreatable. Early detection is most important as there are FDA approved medications available for treating this disease and we found that they helped my husband.
In the USA, Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death. More than 5 million people suffer from this disease today and 1 in 3 seniors die of Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
The six leading causes of death for seniors are: Heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
This year, Alzheimer’s will cost the nation $203 billion so we need even more than the $100 million that President Obama has set aside for brain research next year. I find these numbers mind boggling.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’