Monday, November 25, 2013


People with Down Syndrome have a significantly higher propensity to get Alzheimer's Disease.  "By age 40, a full 40 percent of people with Down syndrome will develop the disease, and by age 50 that rises to 50 percent, Skotko told TODAY’s Maria Shriver."  This terrifies me.  I mean, full on, make me sick, terrified.

I know a typical someone who has been showing signs of Alzheimer's...I was suspicious, and googled it...and my suspicions were certainly confirmed:

  • trouble handling money and paying bills
  • repeating questions
  • taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • poor judgment
  • losing things or misplacing them in odd places
  • rummaging and hoarding
  • mood and personality changes
  • increased memory loss and confusion
  • problems recognizing family and friends
  • inability to learn new things
  • difficulty carrying out tasks that involve multiple steps (such as getting dressed)
  • problems coping with new situations
  • hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • impulsive behavior

  • Where it gets a little weird, is that Elise exhibits half of the things on this list on any given day.  So, frankly, it's not that much of a stretch to think that she will be susceptible to getting it.  Because I surround myself with people who are almost as blunt as myself, this sentence has been said, more than once:  "So, how will Elise having Alzheimer's be that different than now?"  Yeah.  That is part of my own personal terror torture...will I even know that she has Alzheimer's until she doesn't know me?

    I hope that the medical community will choose to pursue the link between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease.  I don't like the idea of removing the third 21st chromosome (I'll save that one for another day)...but I have a lot of hope that in messing about with the links between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's disease that they find ways of wiping the plaque and helping free the minds of those trapped...

    Because trapped out of your own life is even more terrifying than watching it happen to a loved one.

    Can you do anything to prevent Alzheimer's in yourself and your loved one that has a predisposition?  Actually, yes.

    The six pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle are:
    1. Regular exercise
    2. Healthy diet
    3. Mental stimulation
    4. Quality sleep
    5. Stress management
    6. An active social life
    I fail to see how any of these are not something we should all be striving for anyway...and things this generation tends to allow many of these to slip regularly with flippant excuses....

    Don't make excuses.  Implement changes.  Protect your body.  Protect your brain.  Protect your future.


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