Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Alzheimer's Not Only For "Oldtimers"

Yes, I do know people who actually call it "Oldtimers." What these semi-educated folks mean is Alzheimer's disease, the neurological disorder that robs people of their memories. It is often associated with senior citizens, and it costs nearly $100 billion a year to treat those with the disease in this country.

Most recently, researchers have found that Alzheimer's might actually affect a greater percentage of the population than originally thought. Dr. David Bennett, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, believes the actual number could be as high as THREE times greater.

Dr. Bennett and his fellow researchers autopsied "healthy" elderly people and found that many had visible lesions on their brains signalling Alzheimer's, but they had similar memory test scores as those without lesions. It's believed 4 million have Alzheimer's disease, but these findings mean it's possible 12 million might actually suffer from it, and most are not being diagnosed with it.

Most recently, The Alzheimer's Association published findings earlier this month that believe many Americans under 65 have early onset Alzheimer's...and their memory issues are incorrectly attributed to things such as stress.

"These...warning signs are more easily put off to other factors," the report concluded.

So how soon could the early onset of Alzheimer's actually be affecting those under 65? What can doctors do to detect...

Oh look, I see my shadow.

Neat!

I love peanut butter.

36 comments:

Michelle said...

Sadly, i have heard of a few cases where this disease has made its mark upon some under the age of 50.....shocking.

O Ceallaigh said...

Another possibility to watch out for is that the brain lesions found in Alzheimers patients actually don't have anything to do with the disease. Their presence may be a coincidence, signalling some other

We had catbirds nesting in the forsythia for the longest time, the wife and I. It was fun watching them

The Packers won the Super Bowl!!

:)

Jim said...

that would help explain Missouri drivers! sorry, I couldn't resist.

I spend time with two people in their 90's every day, they are scared to death of Alzeheimers because it is on the news all the time, I keep telling them "If you forget where your car keys are, that's just part of getting old; if you start forgetting what your car keys are for, that's when we got problems."

OnMyWatch said...

I heard that if you do puzzles a lot it helps fight off the disease, so everyday I do the Jumble in the newspaper.

I'm not sure if that's helping though, I think I'm dyslexic now. :)

DaBich said...

I suffer from ADD...acute ding-dong dementia (Ding-dong is a pseudonym for my boss). Does that lead to Alzheimer's????

phred said...

Ummmmmm....
Would you repeat the question ?

Cari said...

I work with residents in our ARBOR/MEMORY IMPAIRED unit. I get so sick to my stomach when I see employees putting our residents in front of a TV instead of doing some activities with them....

THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO!!! I tell em...

:P fuzzbox said...

Great post, I like peanut butter too. BTW do you know what I did with my shoes?

angel, jr. said...

I know many that use the term old-timers too.
Sad prognosis for many afflicted by alzheimers.

Perplexio said...

That reminds me of a joke:

How many people with ADD does it take to unscrew a lightbulb?

Let's go ride a bike!

Jenna Howard said...

My dad used to say he suffered Some-timers. He only forgot certain things...like his daughter's birthday *cough ahem* Oh sure side with him and say it's so he didn't have to buy me

I love that ADD joke. Just...love

Wow...I need a new pedicure. I'm thinking of changing the color to

What was my original point?

Perplexio said...

Another favorite joke of mine-- this is more about alzheimers and/or senility:

3 old women with Alzheimers are living together.

One of them turns on the TV and within 5 minutes she can't remember whether she had just started watching a program or was just finishing a program on TV.

One of the others goes to draw water for a bath and before the tub is even full she can't remember whether she was about to get into the tub or if she'd just gotten out of the tub.

The third one says to herself-- "I'm glad I'm not as bad as those two... knock on wood..... Was that the front door or the back door?"

KC said...

This disease worries me. I don't know of anyone in my family who has ever suffered with it, but I wonder if I might be the first. Lately, I've not been able to finish sentences. It's not that I forget what I'm talking about, it's just that for some reason I can't think of the words that will complete my thought. Weird, huh? Good thing I'm married to a guy who completes my sentences for me or we'd never finish a conversation.

I once told my sister that if I ever do have Alzheimer's and I'm put away in a nursing home, she doesn't ever have to come visit me. After all, I won't no who she is anyway. She might as well stay at home.

ozymandiaz said...

The abolition movement in the south was actually economically driven …
oh, wait
what were we talking about?

Jamie Dawn said...

Ha, ha, ha.
You always end your posts VERY well!

I'm one of those people who sometimes can't come up with the right word I want. I HATE that, and I often say I must have early onset Alzeimer's.

I have heard many people call it Old Timers' disease.
I wonder if they would even regognize it if it were written out "Alzeimer's?"

I hope a cure is found for this awful disease.

FantasticAlice said...

I'm 25, what is my major malfunction?

Will said...

Now I'm worried...

David Amulet said...

I've often wondered how many of our simple quirks like forgetfulness and absent-mindedness are due to some condition that just hasn't been nailed down yet. I guess we're finding out.

-- david

Phats said...

I think it would be incredibly scary to have Alzheimer's or to have a loved one that had it. You never know when they could take off normal, and have an episode and not know where the hell they are, ya scary!

The Phoenix said...

Seriously, I do find the study of neurology so fascinating. We know so little about these diseases...and we seem to be making new discoveries all the time.

The one thing many researchers are finding is that using your brain as much as possible is one way to keep your brain healthy.

It's not a cure-all, but it's an important factor.

So keep blogging!!!!

I will catch up on blogs very soon.

Pixie said...

Alzheimers is such a terrible disease.Its one of those things that are so frustratiting for the people around you.

I knew a woman whos mother developed it and everyday she had to be told her husband was no longer with them and go through it every day.

I also had an uncle who had parkinsons and it was horrible to see him go from a university physics lecturer to barely able to string a few words together.

Laurie said...

My friend's mom had Alzheimers, it wasn't slight, either.. and she DROVE A CAR.

Now that was scary.

Sherri said...

One of my biggest fears is that I will one day fall victim to a disease like this. It scares me, actually.

I think that may be the reason why I take so many photographs, and write so much. One day I will be able to look back and at least know I have done things with my life.

grrrbear said...

I like to believe that the mental exercise I get from having to think up something to blog about on a regular basis is helping stave off the Alzheimers that would otherwise have reduced me to utter senility by now. Even if it is a silly self-indulgent post about my jealousy towards my girlfriend's backpack.

Curare_Z said...

mmmm.....peanut butter.

Tai said...

It IS good that there are some ways to 'avoid' Alzheimers...mental stimulation is among the top ones.

ObilonKenobi said...

My sister-in-law's mother was diagnosed in her 50s but we suspect that she was showing symptoms much earlier. it went undetected for so long because she had a mong history of being kind of ditsy anyway. Her husband started noticing very strange behavior a few years ago and they took her for tests. It is very sad because she is so young and has very young grandchildren.

She and her husband worked hard all their lives and raised 4 children. he just retured from the police force a few years ago and now this. The moral is, enjoy life right now and do not wait until retirement. You never know how long you and your spouse will have together.

BrianAlt said...

I told you about my aunt. She just turned 60. Sucks! She sounds like a different person. So strange.

Fated said...

Alzheimers is possibly the scariest disease you can get. I suppose anything neurological would be. If you have almost any physical ailment at least you have your memories. With Alzheimers you dont even have that. I can't even imagine how sad that would be. I couldn't imagine feeling confused all the time.

That said, I think I need to make some peanut butter toast

Karen said...

"many Americans under 65 have early onset Alzheimer's...and their memory issues are incorrectly attributed to things such as stress"...

...well, that's depressing. :(

Bruce said...

I'm 53; maybe I should make a dr's appointment...

Jon Cox said...

Great post! I love the ending, YUM!

Nan said...

I had a lot to say about this topic - unfortunately I forgot what it was...

crallspace said...

I sometimes feel like I have alzheimers. OR at least, will have it sometime sooner than later.

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