Know about Alzheimer’s Disease

“What comes before ‘S’?”, she suddenly seem to forget.

“How could I not fathom it? I have been an English teacher for over 40 years”, she pondered.

Mrs. Asha could not understand what had taken over her. She barged into her neighbour’s house mistaking it for her’s. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s became her companion for next 10 years, until her death. This has been the story of many Ashas across the world.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s, often called the silent killer disease leads to the gradual degeneration of the brain cells resulting in memory loss, disrupted sleep patterns and gradual detachment in the long run. There were an estimated 50 million people with Alzheimer’s in the world in 2017. It is set to double every 20 years, thereby reaching 131.5 million in 2050. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But, proper medication and care could improve the symptoms.

Challenges involved in tackling Alzheimer’s disease

The challenges involved in tackling Alzheimer’s disease seem to be manifold. Firstly, being a non-curable disease, there is a need for consistent care-giving. There seems to be a dearth of infrastructural and medical facilities to tackle Alzheimer’s. In many places across the world, mental illness is still considered to be a taboo. Hence, an all-round awareness is the need of the hour.

Way Ahead?

Pragmatic steps like Norway’s plan to establish a National centre for research on brain diseases and India’s Mental Health Care Act 2017 brings in a ray of hope to tackle Alzheimer’s disease.

With the right care and approach, the onset of Alzheimer’s could be delayed. A caring and conducive environment could go a long way in dealing with patients like Asha.

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