If you don't have a relative currently or formerly suffering through the dreaded disease, it can be easy to forget! Let's start by identifying just exactly what Alzheimer's is and how it can affect you!
If you know me, you know that I love analogies, so here you go: think of your brain as your TV and you want it to produce images (memories). In order to do that, the TV has to receive an electrical signal via the cord that is plugged into the wall. The cord would be the neurons connecting throughout your brain to carry that electrical signal that will cause the desired result of reproducing memories and sounds. If you take the cord to your TV and shave large chunks out of the insulation, the electricity flowing through the cord will not flow as true if it even flows at all – meaning the image on your TV may appear fuzzy or not at all. Neurons in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease are either missing parts of the insulation - or perhaps have no insulation - and, therefore, the signal is lost. Those of us who have experienced Alzheimer’s first hand can tell you is a heart breaking disease, not only for the patient, but especially for their friends and family.
To put things in perspective Alzheimer’s disease treatments will cost the USA $216 Billion dollars in 2016 alone. Alzheimer’s will kill more than breast and prostate cancers combined in 2016. In fact, Alzheimer’s has now moved to the 6th leading cause of death in America. The really scary number is that every 66 seconds another person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With the rapid pace that baby boomers are aging, we will all be affected sooner rather than later.
For more information, or to find out what can be done in the fight on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association website.