Though simple, this advertisement communicates something very powerful its audience--the emotional, yet frightening effects of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease, affects over 5 million Americans over the age of 65 ("Facts"), is the most common form of dementia that causes a significant loss in cognitive functions such as memory, thinking, and behavior. This non-curable, "progressive" disease "usually develops slowly and get worse over time," eventually leading to death as time progresses ("Alzheimer's"). Though Alzheimer's is one of the world's most well-known diseases, no official cure for this disease has been found, as of now. However, scientists believe that the development of Alzheimer's is linked to "a complex result of multiple factors," amongst which are age and genetics. Furthermore, many people wrongly infer that Alzheimer's is a disease something that humans naturally develop as we get older; this is far from the truth. However, the risk of developing this disease increases as we get older ("Dementia"). In fact, scientists have discovered that our risk of getting Alzheimer's nearly doubles every five years after the age of 65, which is quite the frightening statistic ("Dementia").
Despite the fact that there are no known cures for this disease, research has shown ways to both treat and prevent this disease from occurring. Many treatments are currently available that would help with controlling some of the "cognitive and behavioral symptoms" associated with Alzheimer's disease ("Alzheimer's"). As the disease develops over time, many of the cells within our brain begin to deteriorate and die over time, leading to such cognitive symptoms as memory loss because the connections between individual cells have been broken. Though they are not able to completely stop damage to the brain cells, medications such as Namenda have been made available by the FDA that control and "stabilize" these effects for some time ("Alzheimer's"). The treatment for the behavioral side effects of Alzheimer's has been known to be tough. Despite this, some researchers suggest that a change of environment might be beneficial to some of these patients, as they have found that discomfort within a given environment triggers many emotional symptoms such as anger and depression within a person with Alzheimer's. They also suggest the use medications as a way to managing these symptoms, though they are known to have many side-effects ("Alzheimer's). Finally, though it is not absolute, research has shown that the best way to prevent Alzheimer's disease is to lower your chances of getting heart disease, as "many of the same factors that increase your risk of heart disease can also increase your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease [...]" (Mayo Clinic). So by controlling such factors as high blood pressure, cholesterol, excess weight gain, and diabetes by staying "physically, mentally, and socially" active, we can potentially reduce our chances of getting this wretched disease (Mayo Clinic).
Yes, I know... this blog post was VERY long and informative, but discussing this is a great way to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease. Anyone who knows someone with this disease knows how emotionally daunting it is and would do anything they can to prevent this disease. I mean, just think about it. How would you feel if one day, you went to visit your father 10 years down the line and he couldn't remember you? I know I would absolutely hate that, because quite frankly, it would just be cruel and unfair. I can only pray that this never happens. So what do you guys think about this disease? Do you know anybody who has Alzheimer's disease and if so, how has this impacted you? Feel free to share your thoughts!
"The Facts on Alzheimer's Disease." American Health Assistance Foundation. 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.
"Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Guide." Alzheimer's Association. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.
"Alzheimer's & Dementia Causes." Alzheimer's Association. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Prevention." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and
Research, 18 Jan. 2011. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.