identity

Would you want to know whether you will get Alzheimer’s in 15 years?

 

Alzheimer’s scares me.   I think it should scare everyone. Our memories ground us into a reality (regardless of how we have constructed it). Yet Alzheimer’s is a disease that makes us unrecognizable to ourselves and robs us of our memories and corresponding stability. Alzheimer’s is the result of brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerating and dying, eventually destroying memory and other important mental functions.  According to the National Institutes of Health, Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer  as a cause of death for older people. Sadly, there is no cure.   Yet.

 

This past week, Alzheimer’s research and scientific  studies have been in the news. Although, many probably didn’t catch the news considering all the other things that have been occurring and collectively draining our attention span. For instance, researchers reported this past week that a bacterium largely responsible for gum disease also contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s.   Seems that we really need to get past our fears of going to the dentist. There have been podcasts on how Alzheimer’s can occur in generation after generation in a family. I can’t imagine such sadness and loss of family memories.

 

What captured my attention was a report that there may be a test  (testing for a certain protein in the blood) that ca be used to predict whether one will get Alzheimer’s in 15 to 16 years.  Considering that there is no cure, would you want such a test? What happens if these proteins are found? How do you react and then prepare? For one, I would worry as to whether one would be covered by health insurance thereafter. Assuming that one can still get health insurance, preparing for a life that one may soon forget can cause tremendous anxiety day in and day out. Or so I would imagine. Sure, one can argue that knowing allows one to prepare one’s affairs. Sure, one can argue that knowing would allow one to live one’s life fully. But why shouldn’t we live fully anyway?

 

I am not too sure I would want to know. But I would have to promise myself to live a joyous day and strive for nothing to take away said joy. I think that is doable. I hope.

5 replies »

  1. Keep Writing as per the Nun Study
    Done Recently on the Dreaded
    Alzheimer’s Disease As in All things
    Life And Love use it or Lose it applies
    As in the case of Sister Bernadette
    Who lectured late in Life whose
    Brain actually wired around
    Severe Alzheimer’s Plaques
    And Tangles into her 80’s
    As Functional Linguistic
    Abilities Both Oral
    And Written
    Through
    The
    Lifespan seem
    To Protect yeah
    My Mother A Poet
    Beat my Sister in Scrabble
    A Week before she died from
    Stage 4 Cancer with a Bleeding
    Brain Cancer in addition to
    The Rest of Her
    Body same
    With Back
    Pain Dance
    Or
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    Stay Sharp
    Do continue Singing too..
    My Father and His Identical
    Twin Suffered From Dementia
    Into Late age.. their intellectual
    And Exercise Diet consisted of
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    NASCAR.. SMiLes..
    Wild Cats
    Enjoy
    Life
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    Cats as every
    Move means Survival..
    We Humans overall
    Have
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    Long Before
    Old Age Do Jack LaLanne
    Where Every Step And Word
    Of Dance and Song is Health
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    Disease
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    Darkness
    As every
    Galaxy owes
    Existence To A Black
    Hole as Long as Galaxies
    Dance
    And
    Sing my FriEnd..:)

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  2. I’m with you on this one. We all know we’re going to die. Knowledge of that death is always with us, and I don’t think it’s possible to live fully if you’re constantly worried about death. And it’s not as though knowing the specific date of our death is going to change it, right? No, I think going on as we do already, knowing that someday will be the end and enjoying the time we do have, is the best way to go. Pardon the pun. 🙂

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  3. No, I don’t want to know. Why spend your last 15 years worrying about when (or perhaps if) dementia will invade your life? And there are many forms of dementia, a test for Alzheimer’s won’t predict vascular dementia. Life your life to the full each day, and don’t spend it stressing about what might, or might not, happen in a future you might not reach anyway

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