I’m on a rant! Please indulge me.
As you know, Alzheimer’s disease (one high-profile aspect of dementia) has invaded my family and taken over a major part of my life. Today I have very important information to share with you.
Before you read further, I would like it if you would take this Alzheimer’s quiz. Right click on the link so you don’t lose your place here.
Much research is being conducted to learn how to prevent, slow, predict Alzheimer’s disease, but study of the actual brain of Alzheimer’s patients cannot be done until after death. I recently learned that the main focus of study is of the male brain because it is easier to work with due to the female brain being more complicated due to hormonal changes and differences. This means that drugs formulated to help Alzheimer’s patients are geared more to the male brain! This is shocking since more women are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease than are men! Now, does that make sense to you?
I don’t know about you, but that does not sit well with me. Alzheimer’s is following the generations in my family and I for one do not want to have to rely on ill-targeted studies and drugs should it come to that for myself or any other woman in my family.
There are not many causes I believe in enough to commit to support, but Alzheimer’s research is one in which definite strides are being made and support is not misused. In fact, Nova Scotia is a leading force in research and progressive work in learning about this disease. I’m proud of that fact. I also see the huge and urgent need of continued research for breakthroughs. I truly believe that for the generation of my own offspring there will be discoveries made to determine very early if an individual has the actual disease and then stop it from progressing further, thus saving the individual from the horrible regression due to a deteriorating brain. Although now there is a blood test that can reveal if a person has the gene, at present the drugs we have, at best, sometimes slow the progression but cannot stop it.
I wish I were a scientific genius who could come up with the answers to save so many lives from the agonies of Alzheimer’s disease. There is so very much we don’t know about it … what causes it, what triggers it to start, how to stop it, how to prevent it, how to cure it. There are guesses, lots of those, and there are studies which have found diet has a lot to do with trying to fend it off – foods that make a positive difference for the brain (coconut oil being emphasized now) – but when one is in a family stalked and oppressed by Alzheimer’s that is not enough. Answers, helps, a cure, PLEASE!
I found a website I would like you to visit. It is called Hope Knot. The name comes from the Hope-Knot project – to combat women’s brain aging disorders. A beautiful design was created by a renowned jewellery designer whose family has experienced the devastating effects of dementia. He explains the inspiration for the design, which I hope you will go HERE to check out for yourself. Here is what is said on the site: The Women’s Brain Health Initiative wanted an icon to raise awareness and escalate concern over the unchecked growth of dementia and other aging brain diseases in women.
Here is additional good information about Alzheimer’s.
There is more I could say but for now I will simply thank you for permitting me this rant. You can see it is a cause I believe in. I urge you to please visit the website, and if so inclined, make a purchase of that beautiful jewellery to support the effort and honour the many women afflicted – or who will be afflicted – with brain disease. I did.
If you took the Alzheimer’s quiz what were your results? I missed one.
There is talk of a blood test now that will reveal if someone has the Alzheimer’s gene. If given the chance, would you want to know ahead or would you prefer to wait (if you have it) until it is obvious? If you knew ahead, would it change your life?
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
PS: From the Hope-Knot website: Almost 70% of new Alzheimer’s sufferers will be women. What makes this fact even more alarming is that there is little understanding of why this is the case, and there are no studies currently being undertaken to explore the discrepancy. We at the Women’s Brain Health Initiative intend to change that.
Yes, I know about Alzheimers. My husband suffered with the disease. It’s horrible when someone you’ve lived with for 50 plus years does not even know who you are. I hope the professionals can someday find a way to prevent the disease. Thank you for an interesting article. Prayers for you and your family. (I made 93 on the quiz)
Beverly, I’m so sorry about your husband. It is probably even worse to suffer through that with a spouse than with another family member, but terrible no matter who it is. You did very well on the quiz. Thank you for prayers and for your comment.
I too know about Alzheimers, as my mother-in-law suffered and died from it. Also knew a state legislator stricken in her early 50s and others. Valuable information. I missed three on the quiz. My mother developed dementia in her 80s, but I don’t know how much was related to the chemotherapy and radiation she recieved for cancer. Her sister had dementia/alzheimers at 90 when she passed. So I don’t know — and yes I would take a blood test. But, I also deal with serious brain injury due to hypoxia following surgery. It impacted my short term memory some, but have been told I have an injury not a disease So, I have been involved with Posit Science Brain program since 2007. I have brain exercises downloaded from two of their programs – they followed my scores. And, now you can go on-line to their site and join — their program excercises every part of your brain and are a lot of fun. Much cheaper and they have many more programs available. Exercising your brain is a great way to keep sharp. My dad was sharp until he passed at 89.
I love the Hope Knot program and will look further into it. The Hope Knot jewelry is beautiful.
Patricia, I appreciate all you have shared. Our brain is an amazing thing. I know a woman who has dementia at the age of 56, the younger the person the worse the disease.
I’m glad you have found something to aid you with your brain injury. Thank you for your comment.
A wonderful post, Lynn. Thank you so much for raising awareness about this terrible disease.
Thank you, Sue. It is distressing to me how women are being overlooked, or lumped together with men when even our brains are different. There is more I could have said, but that may be for another time. 🙂
Well said/ranted. Good points.
Thanks, Erik. I hope you learned something new.
75% on the quiz, but hey, at least I know better now.
Great rant. Alzheimer’s is scary. Scarier than Hashimoto’s — and Hashimoto’s can at least be kept under control with the proper treatment.
Yes, the quiz is meant to inform; good result you got and great attitude. 🙂
Hashimoto’s? I will look that up; thank you. And thanks for your comment.
Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, another one hitting women more often than men.
Oh, of course! 🙂 I completely forgot that name for it … a totally different problem from Alzheimer’s and so much easier to help. I take a daily pill to assist my underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism is often missed and people drag through life when they could take a simple blood test to find out the problem and easily maintain it. Thanks for that reminder.