Alzheimer’s victims suffer the cruelest fate during their golden years.  While other elderly folks hold on to and cherish their memories, Alzheimer’s victims begin to gradually lose their memories as this devastating disease begins to kill their brain cells.  While other seniors have ailments that may make them lose some independence, at least, they still have their mind as well as the ability to think clearly and make their own decisions.  However Alzheimer’s victims become completely dependent on caretakers or family members in order to survive.  In the final stages of the disease, Alzheimer’s victims do not have a clue about who they actually were during their lifetime.  They can no longer recognize their loved ones and friends during the final stages of their lives.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for yet nor are there any treatments to stop or reverse its progress.  The good news is that leading a healthy lifestyle can help prevent Alzheimer’s   According to research, those who followed a Mediterranean diet has a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.   Consuming caffeine, cocoa, red wine and tea also lessened the chances of getting Alzheimer’s.   Individuals who exercised regularly and maintained a healthy body weight also reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.  Elderly folks who engaged in mental activities such as doing puzzles, playing board games reading and many other activities reduced their risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s.

There are certain diseases that make people more susceptible to Alzheimer’s such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and depression.  Head injuries may also increase the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s in the future.  Air pollution, an environmental factor that is beyond our control, can also cause Alzheimer’s. In addition to all of these disease, there is also a genetic component linked to the probability of getting Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s affect people globally.  According to studies, 29.8 million people had Alzheimer’s in 2012.  In 2015, 1.9 million people died as a result of Alzheimer’s. In addition to causing many deaths, Alzheimer’s is a very costly disease.  In the US, Alzheimer’s. costs $100 billion each year.  Alzheimer’s victims are usually 65 or older, but in rare cases some individuals can get Alzheimer’s s in their 40’s.  The life expectancy of Alzheimer’s victims is three to nine years.

Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.  In layman’s terms this simply means that the cells in the brain begin to die.  There are four stages of Alzheimer’s During the early stages, Alzheimer’s is basically undetectable.  A person simply forgets things that anyone can forget.  For example, they may not remember where they put their keys.  In the second stage, the victims will have problems sleeping and a poor ability to think among many other symptoms.  In the third stage, Alzheimer’s victims will have problems speaking as well as several other cognitive impairments.  In the final stage, Alzheimer’s will make the victim lose their speech and total memory.  The victims will become completely dependent on caretakers and will lose their bodily functions causing their demise.

Alois Alzheimer’s , who was a pathologist and a German psychiatrist, was the first one to discover Alzheimer’s disease: therefore, Alzheimer’s is named after him.  In 1901, Alzheimer’s followed the case of Auguste D, who was a 50 year old lady, and he closely studied her symptoms until her death in 1906.  Auguste D, who developed Alzheimer’s early at age 50, became the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Still today Alzheimer’s is a disease that is not completely understood, even by the top physicians, scientists and researchers.  However, there is a possible hope for a cure currently underway.  The UB 311 vaccine, which is currently being developed by United Neuroscience, is being made to stop the beta amyloid clumping in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s.   So far, the results of this vaccine are very promising.  In studies with animals, the vaccine generated antibodies against Alzheimer’s.   In Phase 1 of human studies, a 96 percent response rate of patients’ immune system generated an immune an immune response.  Phase 2 of human experiments of the UB 311 vaccine is currently taking place.  The results will be reported in March 2021 and hopefully they will be promising leading to a treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and it is a time to remember all those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and all those individuals who are courageous enough to fight this devastating disease.  During this month, we should honor the doctors, researchers and scientists who are working hard to find an aggressive treatment and a possible cure for Alzheimer’s.   We should also be very thankful to all the nurses and caretakers who take care of Alzheimer’s patients.  Even though Alzheimer’s victims lose their memories, caring family members will always hold on to all the memories that simply fade away for Alzheimer’s victims.  They truly love their afflicted family members demonstrating that a disease can never destroy the power of love.