by Barb Ratliff, Executive Assistant,
Reliable Contracting Co., Inc.
- Alzheimer’s is the only one of the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, slowed down or cured.
- Today, there are 5 million seniors living with Alzheimer’s, two thirds of which are women.
- Alzheimer’s is no longer considered an aging disease. Five percent of all Alzheimer’s patients are in their 40’s and 50’s.
- Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, but they are more likely to be care givers of people with Alzheimer’s. Women’s health and well being are effected by the physical and emotional stress of their caregiving responsibilities, thus increasing their susceptibility to diseases.
Progress: Ninety percent of what we know about this disease has been discovered in the last 15 years. Current treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, but they can temporarily slow the worsening of the symptoms thereby improving the quality of life for patients and their caregivers.
What we now know about this brain disease: Two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells.
- Plaques are deposits of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid (BAY-tuh AM-uh-loyd) that build up in the spaces between nerve cells.
- Tangles are twisted fibers of another protein called tau (rhymes with “wow”) that build up inside cells.
- Though everyone develops some plaques and tangles as they age, those with Alzheimer’s tend to develop far more. They also tend to develop them in a predictable pattern, beginning in areas important for memory before spreading to other regions.
- Scientists do not know exactly what role plaques and tangles play in Alzheimer’s disease. Most experts believe they somehow play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupting processes that cells need to survive.
- It’s the destruction and death of nerve cells that causes memory failure, personality changes, problems carrying out daily activities and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
The federal government has made significant commitments to fight heart disease, HIV/AIDS and breast cancer and between the years 2000 and 2010 deaths declined, but there is no similar commitment for Alzheimer’s disease; related deaths have increased by 68%. Between 2010 and 2050, caring for Alzheimer’s patients will cost the American society $20 trillion. This is very real and dear to my heart as I lost my dad to dementia in 2004. If this disease has affected your family, I’m sure, like me, you want to make a difference.
How you can make a difference: Please join Team Reliable again this year at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 25 in Annapolis. If you can’t make it to the walk, please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association through our Team Reliable page. We also ask you to contact your state representative and urge them to commit more funding for Alzheimer’s research. Together, we can make a difference.
Learn more about Alzheimer ’s disease: www.alz.org
To find out more about how you can assist the initiative to end Alzheimer’s or if you require Maryland asphalt services, please contact Anne Arundel County’s largest site-work contractor today by calling 410-987-0313 or visiting our website. You can also follow Reliable Contracting on Facebook and Twitter!
Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.