Alzheimer's disease can have devastating effects on both patients and their families. When November was announced Alzheimer's Awareness month, 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s, but today the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million. With someone being diagnosed with this devastating disease every 4 seconds, bringing awareness to this disease is vital.
The purpose of having months dedicated to medical diseases and problems like Alzheimer's is to bring awareness to the issue in an effort to take steps towards bettering the disease. Since this issue is so important, we wanted to get involved and spread awareness by explaining what exactly Alzheimer's is and what you can do to help the cause.
What is Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's is a disease of the brain that causes deterioration and leads to dementia and problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It was discovered in 1901, yet over 100 years later, it is still a disease that scientists haven't fully been able to get a grasp on. It worsens over time and currently has no cure, although current treatment methods do slow down the progression of the disease.
There are 6 stages to Alzheimer's disease:
- Short-term memory loss is experienced.
- Logical thoughts are impaired.
- Erratic mood swings are apparent.
- Paranoia and hallucinations set in.
- Long-term memory is erased.
- The control centers of heart rate and breathing are disrupted, resulting in death.
To learn more about the science behind Alzheimer's, check out this awesome educational video.
What can you do to help?
Now that you have a better understanding about Alzheimer's, how can you help? Alz.org offers great tips on how to get more involved and how to help those who are diagnosed with the disease. You can call their 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900, Locate a chapter in your community to get involved with, use our Virtual Library, and go to Alzheimer's Navigator to create customized action plans and connect with local support services.
We hope to help spread awareness for this disease and offer support somehow to those effected by this disease. Brain MRI's have proven to be a convenient tool when learning more about this disease. We understand that this disease can be disheartening, but we hope that the more you are informed about this disease the better you can battle it.