|Graphic courtesy of alz.org.|
So I learned that dementia is actually an umbrella term for Alzheimer's Disease, Vascular Dementia, Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. Each has its own specific symptoms and diagnoses. Some people believe that Alzheimer's is just a normal part of aging, but it is not. It is a disease, which like other diseases, has a science behind it with a mystery waiting to be unlocked. The Banner Alzheimer's Institute is very much committed to prevention and treatment (and hopefully one day, a cure.) They collaborate internationally as well, to learn from and teach other scientists around the world about new developments in the search for a cure and methods for prevention.
Advances in genomics have helped to further research and bring about new ideas about prevention. But what I really want my readers to walk away with is the idea of how to help. Researchers need to conduct trials, but they can not do so without the help from many, MANY volunteers who want to help further the cause. There is an Alzheimer's Prevention Registry that is a growing online community of over 44,000 members who are passionate about combating the disease. The website allows you to sign up for information and ways that you can help, including alerting you to studies that might be going on in areas around you.
By signing up, you are not donating your body to science, you are not committing to rigorous testing, probing questions or lifelong harassment. It's all voluntary, you offer what help you want or none at all. The idea behind it is that by finding out more about those related to someone who was diagnosed by Alzheimer's Disease, scientists may be able to find a common genetic characteristic that can predetermine those at risk and eventually prevent it from occurring at all.
So, have you had someone in your life that was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease? I'm curious what percentage of my readers have. How much do you actually know about the disease? I haven't even touched the surface with information about ALZ. If you know someone, feel free to take a look at the registry. Looking doesn't hurt anything and maybe you will see that registering is a good thing and that the more research scientists are able to do, the closer they can come to a cure.
*I was provided an incentive for my time on this post.