Alzheimer’s Disease is a slow fatal disease of the brain. More and more people are not sure as to what happens to the brain, so I have decided to put this explanation together for you all.
Diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease we all know is paramount. The sooner it is diagnosed the sooner we know what we are dealing with.
Two abnormal proteins called “plaques ” begin to creep and spread like a grape vine, through various areas of the brain killing the brain cells. The first part of the brain to be affected is the area of the brain called the hippocampus.
Hippocampus is the part of the brain where our memories are formed. Over time, the plaques spread, slowly destroying the hippocampus, therefore making it harder and harder for new memories to be formed as they once were.
You will identify with this in the early stages as you will wonder why they can’t remember, and you will be repeating yourself more and more and becoming frustrated. The next area of the brain to be invaded by the plaques destroying futher brain cells, is the area that is responsible for language. This effect compromises function. You may notice that what we all take for granted on a daily basis has now become a real ordeal and it’s emotionally painful to watch. Compassion and heart is really what’s required as they start the journey back to childhood.
The next satge that is affected is the front of the brain that affects logical thought . This creates an inability to make plans, grasp things or focus. Control over moods, feelings and emotions are diminished. Not being able to feel, being confused or understand, I can only imagine is terrifying as more and more havoc starts to spark hallucinations.
Towards the final stages , the plaque spreads to the back of the brain, where balance and coordination are affected. As an observer, I remember this being a sad memory as the man who bought me into this world was losing his ability to feed, drink, toilet and wash by himself. He needed a little help. On reflection I think he was sad too as he would not have wanted me to see and experience this part of life. As a parent it’s natural to want to protect your child regardless of their age. However, he was my Dad and I am definitely my father’s daughter, I had no problem helping him out, I was still so proud to call him “My Dad”.
Then finally, the plaque destroys the brain cells that affect the breathing and the heart. The progression from mild, early onset to death is slow and is currently incurable. We as individuals, stand on the sidelines, watching paralysed as to what is unfolding before our eyes.
If I could have reached inside my heart and held it in my hands for a while, I would have. If it would stop the unbelievable sadness in what was unfolding before me as our evolved generation fades away.
Alzheimer’s, the disease of the 21st Century, where no one is immune.