November is Alzheimer’s awareness month. As of now, this disease has affected almost 16 million people worldwide with 4.5 million of them being Americans. Each person with Alzheimer’s needs a large number of people to take care of them with at least one person directly catering to their needs ( can be more, based on the severity of the disease) along with a large number of health professionals and social workers, lawyers, volunteers and support workers to help them through life. Thus just one Alzheimer’s patient can engage a large number of health care workers so that they can cater to their needs. This signifies that too many people are directly or indirectly affected with this disease stress implying the need to spread awareness regarding this disease.
The fact that the cause of this disease is yet not known complicates the matter further especially when it comes to finding an effective cure. However, there is still some hope for people who have this disease as researchers are trying to find a solution to at least control the disease, if not cure it. This month will help to spread awareness regarding the potential risk factors for this disease. Some of the most common risk factors are-
- Smoking- Recent studies have revealed that people who are chronic smokers are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in their later years. As per studies, chronic smokers who consume more than 2 packs a day have 157 % more chances to suffer from this disease than non- smokers. They are also 172 % more susceptible to suffer from vascular dementia.
- Drug abuse- Drug addition plays directly with the brain cells thus increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s in drug abusers.
- Obesity- This is a common risk factor for many other diseases, not just Alzheimer’s.
- Vascular factors
This disease is not fatal but still needs to be urgently controlled as it affects the lifestyle of its patients in their last few years stripping them of their memories and the ability to perform day to day tasks without assistance. It is also a costly disease, which eats into millions of health care industry.
Spreading awareness will help minimize the risk factors and also collect funds to sponsor research to find the possible cause and cure and also help in improving the life of the patients who are already affected. Hopefully, through this simple, yet big step, Alzheimer’s may no longer be the disease that renders millions of innocent people demented. It is also an opportunity to thank the people who have dedicated themselves to serve Alzheimer’s patients. This month may also ensure that Alzheimer patients will get the necessary cure and will be able to live the last few days of their life with their head high.