As we age, it is perfectly acceptable to forget the odd word or name. But, Alzheimer’s is more than the occasional memory lapse. I am often at loss when searching for a word or the name of someone I know well. But that does not mean I am suffering from Alzheimer’s. It’s a disease that causes our brain cells to malfunction and ultimately, die. A person with Alzheimer’s often forgets names of people near and dear to them or forgets the way home even though that individual has lived in the same house for many years.
I have heard it said that Alzheimer’s disease is fatal. It destroys brain cells and causes erratic behavior, memory changes as well as the loss of some body functions. I know that it slowly takes away a person’s identity, their ability to connect with others, talk, walk, think, eat and know how to get home at a later stage.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease does not only affect ‘older people.’ It can affect people as young as 30, which is known as younger-onset-Alzheimer’s.
One day someone told my husband that he had memory problems because he must have taken a drink out of an aluminum can and eaten food cooked in aluminum pots. Then the newspapers reported that Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, was the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
A television reporter stated that flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and that silver dental fillings have the same effect.
Last, but not least, I found articles on the internet stating that there are treatments to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease when I was assured by doctors and neurologists that there is no treatment that delays, stops or cures the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. There are however, drugs that temporarily delay the slow worsening of symptoms for half a year to one year but unfortunately these drugs do not work for everybody.
One of my new year wishes is that a cure for Alzeimer’s disease will soon be found.