Dementia: A Public Health Priority:

November is our National Alzheimer’s Disease Month.

First, what is Alzheimer’s disease? Dr. Alois Alzheimer was the first to describe this condition as a “peculiar disease” and hence the name Alzheimer was given. It affects the brain of a person, and as it progresses, the proteins in the brain of the individual begin to accumulate and form tangles. The tangles disrupt the connection of two nerve cells and die causing the brain tissue is damaged. When this happens, one will find it difficult to learn something new. At the early stage, it will attack the part of the brain which is called hippocampus. The primary role of the hippocampus is in remembering activities that happen in our daily lives. Now when it gets damaged, we tend to forget things. At the early stages, one won’t have loss of memory that happens a long time ago.

My suggestion would be to get involved this month and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. It was President Ronald Reagan who designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s. The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.

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