We've all had those moments where we forget where we've just put our keys, or walk into a room just to forget why we went in there in the first place. These forgetful moments are a normal part of everyday life. But what if your brain constantly committed these memory "slip ups"? What if you could never remember where you put your keys? Or be unable to remember the face of a family member.
That is the reality for a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a form of dementia, and is characterized by memory loss, severe changes in emotional behavior or personality, changes to thinking and judgment, and eventual language loss.
AD is caused by the build up of plaques and tangles in the brain. These structures cause the brain cells to slowly die off. It is also believed that patients with AD have a deficiency in the levels of some vital brain chemicals which are involved with neurotransmitters.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for AD. Drugs do exist that are believe to help slow the progression of AD but the most common treatment is helping to cope with the effects of the disease. To prevent Alzheimer's disease, it is recommended that adults stay mentally and socially active, eat a low fat, high protein diet and have a healthy blood pressure.
My boyfriend's grandmother suffers from this disease, and I have seen how devastating it is for people who suffer from it and their families. Watching a loved one slowly lose mental function, the ability to speak, and there memory is a terrible experience. Our best hope is that one day a cure will be found, so that no one else will have to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.