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Why we need to pay more attention to Alzheimer's disease

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Why we need to pay more attention to Alzheimer's disease

A brain slowly falling apart Last week Seth Rogen went to Washington to speak to the American Senate about the lack of funding and treatment for Alzheimer's disease.  Rogen's mother-in-law was diagnosed with the disease almost 9 years ago and has since forgotten how to do just about everything human's consider a core function of daily life. "After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher of 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself, all by the age of 60," Rogen told the Senate. Rogen's experience is one I can relate to. Almost a decade ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Her mind has deteriorated ever since, though her body is still strong. In a month my grandmother will celebrate her 90th birthday, though she doesn't know it's her birthday. My nana can't remember her family, she can't go to the bathroom on her own or feed herself. The disease has rotted her mind to the point that she's in a drug-induced sleep to keep her from getting agitated and aggressive. If my nana could see herself now she would be horrified. My nana prided herself on being extremely put together and fit. She would get her hair done weekly and always had a meticulously picked out outfit she used to wear red leather, she was a styling lady.  She led a very active lifestyle. She was an avid gardener, walker and swimmer. Now my nana can do none of those things. She just sleeps in a chair. Alzheimer's disease is fatal, yet there is no cure for it and no treatment, except for a few drugs which can ease some of the symptoms, but can't prevent the disease's progression. You always hear about new treatments and research findings for diseases like cancer. The same cannot be said for Alzheimer's, even though Alzheimer's is a disease that literally traps people in their failing body with no hope of a cure. Like Seth Rogen, I am asking Canadians to push for more research on Alzheimer's disease so we can find some hope of a cure. According to the Canadin Institutes of Health Research, in 2011, 747,000 Canadians were living with Alzheimer's or related demntia. And come 2031, 1.4 million Canadians are expected to have the disease. That's a lot of Canadians suffering from the disease and even more Canadians being impacted by it. We need to do something. My nana has spent the last 10 years of her life slowly forgetting everything that defined who she is. No one should have to live like that. So let's all work together to make a difference. For more information on Alzheimer's disease visit the Alzheimer Society of Canada. And check out the Alzheimer's Association, which is leading the charge in the fight against Alzheimer's. ©istockphoto.com/wildpixel
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Why we need to pay more attention to Alzheimer's disease

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