Monday, December 18, 2006

Mom Died of Alzheimer's

This will be a somewhat different post than my usual.

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Mom died of Alzheimer's Disease at 86, 5 years ago.

Last month, her younger sister died. Alzheimer's.

Her younger brother is now completely incapacitated. Alzheimer's.

The next brother in line is "confused". Early Alzheimer's.

I read some time back that if one parent has Alzheimer's, the children have a 50% chance of developing the disease. That's assuming, of course, that it is carried in the genes, which is debatable.

I am turning 65. Mom showed the first signs in her mid 70s, was incapable of running her computer by age 80.

What does this mean for me? 15 more years of productive work and play, and then the curtain falls? Or not? A 50/50 chance? Or will there be some effective therapy that heals the developing holes in my brain?

The Tangled Neuron, a blog focusing on one woman's "search for answers on my father's dementia", is on my blogroll. The writer continues, in her profile, "Although it's too late to help Dad, I hope any information I can find helps others."

In the last couple of days, she has been writing about
"the growing recognition that Alzheimer’s isn’t a single disease, and the controversy about whether we should spend our limited resources on trying to find a “cure.”
Maybe if we give up our fantasies of a single “cure” for Alzheimer’s, we can start talking about better ways to view and treat dementia. These discussions have already begun in labs, at conferences, on email lists, and in homes around the world. While preliminary, they provide us with a glimpse of how Alzheimer’s care might look in the future."
Well worth reading.

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1 comment:

Mona Johnson said...

Hi Susannah,

Thanks very much for the kind comments and link to my post on Dreaming About a Cure...

I think many of us whose parents had/have dementia are making the calculations you've made - how many good years do we have left?

The positive aspect of this is that you sort out what's important, and try to enjoy each day.

You have a great blog, and the links to "favourite walks" makes me think we should add BC to our list of places we need to visit!

Thanks again...