By Maya Dally
Back in 1906, a German psychiatrist named Dr. Alois Alzheimer found unusual deterioration in the brain tissue of a woman who passed away due to an unknown mental illness. After lots of research, he found this new illness to be a very strong strain of Dementia. Since then, the scary disease has become much more common in the elderly over the age of 65, affecting more than five million people just in the U.S. It’s been said that Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America, but it seems soon, that number will rise, as it has been rapidly these past years.
This deadly disease starts off slow, breaking down the brain tissue over time, causing the person to forget recent events alongside confusion and frustration. They will also experience mood swings, and forget their loved ones after a long enough period of time. People affected by this disease often find it very difficult to communicate. Most cases, it lasts around nine years before the patient, unfortunately, passes away.
In recent studies, the Alzheimer’s Association has found that the disease has grown very quickly in these past few years, confirming that 1/3 of elderly people die from Alzheimer’s Disease, with women more likely to get it than men. Though many research has been done, the specific cause is still unknown. We just know what is a direct result of it: Nerve cells get tangled together, and protein deposits build-up in the brain. Genes certainly play a role in it, and head injuries may be a contributing factor, too. As of right now, it remains a terrifying, mysterious illness, and is as real as ever. There is no cure, but many treatments can be done to temporarily take away some symptoms, such as taking medications, physical exercise, and seeing certain specialists to help with the mental state. It is definitely something that is easy to worry about heavily, but it helps to keep in mind that there are still options, and there will be time to do more research and hopefully find a set cure. So, I’d say, keep your worries aside for now.