So I did some blogging on another site a few years back but haven't done that for quite a while but I am going to try to start blogging regularly because it is very good for the brain. When you are suffering from dementia you have to make a decision if you are still capable of understanding what is happening to you. You have to make up your mind if you are just going to give up and let the disease take you at whatever pace it wants or you can do things that are thought to help with progression and symptoms. Apathy is a constant battle with dementia and a very difficult symptom all sufferers have to do their best to overcome if you decide to do what you can to slow the progression. While there is nothing known at this time to slow progression of any type of dementia, there is some evidence that challenging your brain on a regular basis and getting exercise are very important. There are drugs that are proven to help with Alzheimer's symptoms but they do not slow the progression. These same drugs are used frequently with other types of dementia (FTD, Lewy Body, Vascular to name a few) but there is no research that shows they help with the symptoms, they are given because there is nothing else to prescribe. It really is sad that considering Alzheimer's Disease was first discovered in the late 1800's that there has never been a priority at the federal level to put the necessary resources behind research. They are starting to have some exciting breakthroughs but in many ways it is the tip of the iceberg. Especially with other diseases like FTD which is the second most common dementia behind Alzheimer's Disease and it is a disease of younger productive people. Many often still have young children in the home and they are struck down out of the work force at a time when they should be moving towards their greatest potential. This costs everyone money because generally they (like me) end up on Social Security Disability Income and when the disease progresses enough are often in nursing facilities on Medicaid because all of their financial resources have been exhausted. The cost in 2011 to taxpayers was over 100 million dollars. This is NOT just a humane issue, this is a financial crisis as the baby boomers age the cases of Alzheimer's are projected to skyrocket in to unbelievable and unsustainable costs to society. Here is a link to some of the cold hard facts. More to come soon.
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