Research Determines the Future of Alzheimer’s disease
By Ashley Ellis
Many people have experienced Alzheimer’s disease with a loved one in these recent years. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive illness that demolishes memory and other vital mental functions. The networks among brain cells degenerate and eventually decease; hence, leading to a gradual decline in memory and other psychological functions. Unfortunately, besides from examining tissues in the brain, there is no method of early testing for Alzheimer’s disease. Some people show symptoms of Alzheimer’s as early as in their 60s. These biological changes have great impact on the daily lives of individuals diagnosed with this disease. At first, the symptoms are mild but in due course they begin to affect the person by decreasing the capability to carry out daily functions. They start having difficulty with language, problem solving and there may rapid changes in mood, from tranquil to anger, without obvious reason.
But why is Alzheimer’s awareness so important? In the United States, more than five million persons suffer from dementia. According to Alzheimer’s disease Association, there is an estimated 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and about 100,000 die of the disease each year. Research estimates state that the number of Alzheimer’s patients in the United States is expected to triple in the next 20 to 30 years since people are
living longer due to advancement in medical technology for treating other ailments. On the other hand, caring for loved ones affected can present challenges, mostly towards the end of life; so my heart goes out to the families who have been affected and the individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease. And so if I had the resources I would invest money into caring for those who have already been diagnosed through medicinal treatments or simply being a companion. As the ongoing quest for effective Alzheimer’s disease treatments remains, it is vital that there is effort put into improving the care and comfort people with the disease. This aids in the transition through the stages of the disease. As for the families, support programs would be an effective way to help in adjusting and coping with a loved one who has been diagnosed. Support groups would also provide practical advice and emotional assistance for families. However, majority of my investment of time and money would be in medical research as this would help more people in the future.
Understanding the physiology of this disease should be a constant work in progress since the impairments are observed in individuals all over the globe. The treatments of Alzheimer’s disease that currently exist typically provide patients with some form of symptom improvement for only a short period of time. In this present day, there are no therapies that alter the process or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. I strongly believe that the only way to ultimately delay, prevent or perhaps cure Alzheimer’s disease in through the investment of time and money into medical research.