Friday, August 14, 2009

A LONG WAY TO GO..............................

Back in 1979, my mother was diagnosed with AD. There were no meds., no treatments. NOW AD is a household word. It is something we don't want to think or talk about till it affects us. We don't know the cause and we can’t have the cure. We have some meds that can slow down the progression of the illness. My mother died in 1987. The disease killed her. There were no FDA approved meds till the early 1990's. Cognex then Aricept, then Exelon then Razadyne, They all work basically the same way. Then came Namenda which worked differently. None cure.... in the best of all worlds they can significantly slow the downward spiral of the illness. A person may have their personality and mental capacities preserved to some degree for a longer period of time, a week, a month, even years. That may translate into keeping someone out of a nursing home for another six months or year. I would have wanted that for my mother back 30 years ago. Alzheimer's disease is progressive and it eventually kills you. You may technically die form something else, but the disease destroys over the course of years a persons cognition and personality. The AD victim may be in good physical health, but eventually as the disease destroys the mind and the body does follow along, be it from pneumonia, or cardiovascular disease or whatever. It’s amazing how far we have not come in thirty years. The federal funding for AD research is a fraction of what it is for many other diseases, for example AIDs’ and HIV research. This in spite of the fact that AD kills four times as many people every year as AID’s.
I dread the impact of the health care politico polarization in this country regarding the health care changes.
I can't find anything in the health care status quo that places any priority on Alzheimer's, and with all the political chaos and debate in the media and Washington I have not seen any concern for Alzheimer's with the impending health care reform. .....nice priorities federal civil servants.

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Talking about the book with the Lake Superior wind....... a calm day