Friday, November 7, 2014

Alz Awareness Month

Photo by Mitch.
A sponsored post on behalf of the Banner Alzheimer's Institute.

Modern medicine has enjoyed sweet success in preventing and treating a number of diseases.

People are living longer because there have been great strides in addressing heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.

However, there is still no cure for Alzheimer's Disease  (AD), which is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.

November is Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.  Consider wearing a purple ribbon!

It's a good time to focus on the prevalence of the disease and to learn about some ongoing work to prevent and cure AD in the near future.


More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's Disease.  Just this month, Tom Magliozzi of NPR's Car Talk died from complications as a result of Alzheimer's Disease.

Other famous people who lived with Alzheimer's Disease include Etta James, Norman Rockwell, Rita Hayworth, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Peter Falk, and Iris Murdoch.  Currently living with Alzheimer's Disease are novelist Terry Pratchett*, coach Pat Summitt, model B. Smith and singer Glen Campbell.

[Since this post was published, Pratchett passed away on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66. This was eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.]

These celebrities help people understand that as people age, everyone has a risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Every 67 seconds, someone is diagnosed with this disease, which is the major cause for dementia. Advanced age is the highest risk factor.  1:3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another type of dementia.

Alzheimer's is NOT a normal part of aging. It is a progressive disease that erodes the memory to the point where people have trouble walking, eating and even breathing.  Pneumonia, sometimes caused by aspirating food, is a common cause of death for people with Alzheimer's Disease.


There are several researchers working on various elements of Alzheimer's Disease, ranging from prevention to treatment.

Banner Alzheimer's Institute (BAI) partners with many other stake holders in the field of Alzheimer's Disease--including but not limited to Alzheimer's Association, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic.

The following video provides an brief overview of BAI's mission and also explains some basics about Alzheimer's Disease.

Banner Alzheimer's Institute not only is doing groundbreaking research, this organization is working to establish a new standard of care and participating in international scientific collaborations.

Researchers need to speak to as many as 300,000 people to get 2,000 needed to launch a study.  You can help by registering to receive updates about ongoing research and to find out if you might qualify to participate in important research studies.


Books about Dementia
Movies Depicting Alzheimer's Disease


  1. Great post Karen! This is such a great thing that Banner Alzheimer's Institute is doing. I have signed up already but I hope you get lots of signers!

  2. Just talking about this at breakfast with my 82 year-old-aunt. Who has all her marbles, thank goodness.

  3. I wrote a long comment so I hope this one goes through. My 95 year old cousin has Alz. She's in perfect health, and my cousin, her son, just moved them from NJ to AZ. I took my mom to say good-bye to her cause my cousin was like a big sister to her. Hard day. I posted a pic of them on FB saying "This is what love looks like." My cousin is getting a house with a room for her plus hiring a full-time aide (they have $$) and he is so good to her. She's blind but still plays piano.

    What you write here is important and wonderful. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for helping raise awareness. It is a dreadful disease. My mother suffers dementia at 92. Last week she recognized my sister after the last 3 months of not knowing anyone.

  5. You took the perfect approach here Karen - factual, personal, and hopeful. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being that positive, reasoned voice!

  6. Karen, your post is so helpful. There are times when I read about Alzheimers and it triggers fear for me, my Grandmother suffered from it for years, so it is a big fear. As Ruth said... your information provided aspects about Alzheimers without creating fear. And I do thank you for that!

  7. Great post! I just finished listening to Fresh Air's tribute to Tom Magliozzi -- including a rebroadcast of a 1980s interview with the Car Talk brothers. I knew they show had gone off the air but didn't realize it was b/c Tom had Alzheimers. Very sad to lose such a great, funny voice. :(

  8. Excellent information. We've lost so many great people — celebrities and otherwise — to this wretched disease. So sad... and scary.

  9. Such an awful disease. Thank you so much for sharing this important information!

  10. Alzheimers is my biggest fear as I age. Always on the watch for signs. thanks for this great information.

  11. This post affected me at a deep level. My mother who is 93 is suffering from dementia and I struggle with understanding what is going on in her mind and how she is putting the world together now. Your post helps me to expand my thinking

  12. I wrote about this too because it's so important. I hope tons of people register -- I already did -- and that they finally find a way to prevent and cure this terrible disease.

  13. Interesting facts. It's amazing to see what they've already learned through research but I know there is still so much more.