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Spread Understanding During Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

With September being Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Julian Omidi encourages you to spread a better understanding of the disease in any way you can.

According to recent reports, roughly 5 million Americans are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. For those unfamiliar with Alzheimer’s, this particular disease results in dementia that causes significant issues with thinking, behavior, and memory. Despite what many people may think, this type of dementia is not a regular part of aging. Many individuals (as much as 5% of the Alzheimer’s population) suffer from an early-onset type of the disease, which can affect them as early as their 40s.

Alzheimer’s is not just a problem now, but is expected to become an even more widespread issue in the upcoming years. The National Institute on Aging estimates that the number of individuals suffering from this disease doubles every five years after age 65. This is causing quite a burden in many ways for not only those suffering, but their families as well. Family members of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease must make difficult decisions regarding finances, health-care, and place of residence. Family may not have the ability to properly care for the patient on their own and if they do not the expense for adequate nursing and assisted living housing can range from $3,500 to $7,200 per month.

Pharmaceutical companies are desperately looking for methods to provide a cure for the disease as one does not currently exist. Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s much find different medications and methods of treatment that may improve some functioning but not restore it.

Many are also looking into the causes of this form of dementia and finding that in certain industrialized countries such as the United Kingdom and France there may be a correlation between hygiene and rate of occurrence. New research has shown a connection in the “hygiene hypothesis” and Alzheimer’s; the hygiene hypothesis stating that cleaner environments may be at a greater risk for certain diseases and issues. Studies found a larger prevalence in North America and Europe compared to countries like Cambodia and Kenya.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, where awareness is shared about the causes, issues, and solutions related to Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Association offers three ways for us all to raise awareness about this issue including:

  1. Go Purple – Showing passion for the cause by wearing the color purple or other Alzheimer’s-related apparel.
  2. Join a Walk – Join a walk through the organization that helps to not only raise awareness, but also to raise money for research, care, and other types of support.
  3. Share Stories – Sharing a personal story of involving yourself, a loved one, or an individual that has inspired you on a blog or through social media and using the hashtag #ENDALZ can help to spread awareness.

Hopefully these methods will assist during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and allow us all to show support and care through September 2013.

By Julian Omidi

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