It's not that we hadn't heard of it but it became much more personal yesterday when my dad was diagnosed with it. We had our suspicions but I know I hoped in vain that there was another reason for some of his symptoms. Tim's grandmother and great-grandmother had it so this something he and his family know all too well. So I thought I'd give you a little background that I found on one of the many websites out there about the disease. I am grateful we know what is wrong and that we can move forward helping him and my mom cope with the challenges that are coming as he worsens. On another note we are going to Park City tomorrow for a few days for a little mini-vacation before school starts so no more updates until later.
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Scientists have learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease in the century since Dr. Alzheimer first drew attention to it. Today we know that Alzheimer’s:
* Is a progressive and fatal brain disease. As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. For more information, see Warning Signs and Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
* Is the most common form of dementia, a general term for the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 70 percent of dementia cases. Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. For more information about other causes of dementia, please see Related Dementias.
* Has no current cure. But treatments for symptoms, combined with the right services and support, can make life better for the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s. There is an accelerating worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, or prevent it from developing
As for my soap box, I doubt the proposed health care plan would cover helping my father since he would be considered a detriment to society. They would probably reason that he is going to die anyway...but aren't we all? So what is ethical? Okay, hasta luego!