It can be hard for most people to imagine living every day from one fleeting moment to the next. Imagine that any break in your routine could completely disrupts your ability to perform the task. It could be taking a shower at a different time, an unexpected doctor’s appointment or a visit from a family member.
This is can be the life for someone with Alzheimer's Disease. Individuals with Alzheimer's can lose more than their memories. They can lose their language, personality, memories, and overall function as it slowly, gradually progresses. This is more than occasional brain lapse or occasional delay in recalling information. Friends and family eventually become strangers, certain music becomes harsh to hear, certain food becomes unpleasant, a bath becomes a battle between you and your partner/family.
In June it is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, so we want to do our part to help the Alzheimer’s Association in raising awareness of Alzheimer's disease. During Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association celebrates the summer solstice (June 20) and encourages individuals to undertake activities they love to help raise funds to find a cure for the disease. While it’s true that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are more-commonly associated with older individuals, the impact of these diseases is very far-reaching as there are certain variants that can impact adults in middle age (40s or 50-year old).
Tim Sheahan, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of New Mexico, stated that “the Longest Day is the day with the most light, so it is the day we fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s." He also noted that “there are individuals doing everything from biking cross-country to baking cupcakes to playing marathon bridge – doing what they love to raise funds and help us put an end to this disease.”
Why is it important to become aware about Alzheimer's Disease:
Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
7 Million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s – By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 Million.
1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia – it kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
In 2018, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the national $277 Billion – by 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 Trillion.
Alzheimer's is the most prevalent form of dementia syndromes, accounting for about
35% of all cases of dementia. The majority of cases of AD develop after age 65. Neuropsychologically, memory impairment and word finding are some of the earliest cognitive symptoms in Alzheimer's. As Alzheimer's progresses, global cognitive impairment can slowly take shape as they exhibit agnosia, apraxia, and aphasia.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website. To find out more about Alzheimer’s disease, you can click here to find out the difference between Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.
If you are concerned about Alzheimer's disease, undergoing neuropsychological or neurocognitive testing’s can be important. Your primary care doctor may notice very minor changes that might be easy to miss to yourself or your family. Recognizing the changes and diagnosing them can speed up treatment and aid in diagnostic clarity. It also can help the individual get connected to the appropriate resources and services in the community.
If you live in the New Jersey or New York area and would like to schedule a neuropsychological evaluation for yourself or a family member in order to determine if there have been any potential cognitive changes that would be atypical or unexpected for your age please contact Dr. Corey Burchette at 201-577-8286 to inquire about scheduling an appointment at the New Jersey Memory Center which is located in Verona, New Jersey.