Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time Magazine on Alzheimer's

The October 25, 2010 issue of Time. The picture on the cover shows the visible deterioration of the mind. Alice Park writes in the lead article, "Hope in Darkness", the following:
  • Alzheimer's disease is  "the degenerative brain condition that is not content to kill its victims without first snuffing out their essence."
  • Research funds are lacking. Dr. Ronald Peterson of May Clinic is quoted:
We spend $5.6 billion a year funding cancer studies, $1 billion a year for heart disease . . . and $500 million to study Alzheimer's. Yet what is going to get most of us in the next few years is Alzheimer's.
  • Park says about the new research, "Who in his right mind would want to know he had a disease that would inevitably rob him of that mind?" Yet Park writes: "Experts are now convinced that it's crucial to treat Alzheimer's patients as early as possible, perhaps even before they show signs of memory loss or cognitive decline, rather than attempt to improve a brain already scourged by the disease."
  • Brain scans now are better. Amyloid patterns can be detected that previously only could be confirmed in autopsies. Perhaps this is why the USF Byrd Institute could make my husband's diagnosis recently.
  • Park concludes "living robustly and well is one of the best weapons we have against the disease--at least until science's heavier artillery is finally ready to be wheeled into place."
Patti Davis writes also in this Time issue that we have to learn the lesson of acceptance rather than asking why. She points out that "men tend to back away in discomfort. Woman, on the other hand, inhabit the experience fully, with its sorrows, its calm stretches, its dramatic explosions and even its humorous moments." Yes, Patti, that describes this blog. Also I know of fewer men than women who blog about the experience also.

The last essay in Time is written by Nancy Gibbs. She points out that "Medicare does not cover basic long-term care, and you have to burn through your savings to qualify for Medicaid." For people still working you can sign up for care in January with the new health care bill and be vested after five years--at only $50 a day--totally inadequate. There is nothing that can be done for us senior citizens in that new bill it appears.  

Meanwhile, as I finished reading Time,  an e-mail came in. Heavy smoking appears to be a factor in Alzheimer's and dementia according to a report from the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Post on Heavy Smoking.  A link to that reading room where you can subscribe or read regularly is on the right of this blog.


  1. David never smoked, he jogged faithfully 5 days a week until Alzheimer's hit, he/we ate a lot of fruits and vegetables. He took such good care of himself, that I thought he'd be the last person to get this disease, but he did.
    David's is genetic....UGH......I pray each day that our children won't inherit it also.

    Now to the article.... interesting and your information is helpful.

  2. Regarding the post you left on my blog.. I don't know if you eat sweets but I made some pumpkin cookies with a caramel frosting for some friends as a gift. They were wonderful.