Terre Pruitt's Blog

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A Quick Bit About The Brain

Posted by terrepruitt on February 17, 2015

“What is Alzheimer’s Disease?  Alzheimer’s is a slow fatal disease of the brain affecting one in ten people over the age of 65.  No one is immune.  The disease comes on gradually as two abnormal protein fragments called Plaques and Tangles accumulate in the brain and kill brain cells.”  Then the video goes on to say WHERE in the brain those fragments start and WHAT is in that part of the brain.  The first place is the middle of the bottom part of the brain the place where memories are formed.  The video states that as the disease progresses it becomes harder and harder to form new memories.  Then the disease spreads to the language processing portion of the brain.  Then, Alzheimer’s goes to area of the brain in the front where logical thought takes place.  Problem solving, grasping concepts and making plans are some of the things affected.  This video goes on to show the way the disease progresses.  It somewhat helps explains things like why a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease can remember things from years ago, but not decide what to wear today or what to eat for a meal.  It is a less-than-four-minute video that explains a little bit about how the brain is affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.

The video is about five years old and is from www.AboutAlz.org, but I just saw it posted on Facebook this past weekend.  I thought it was very informative and I wanted to share it.  It quickly and basically explains the progression of the disease.  It states that “the progression from mild forgetting until death is slow and steady and takes place over an average of eight to ten years.”

I was wondering if those numbers have changed since it has been almost five years.  So I clicked on “Statistics About Alzheimer’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Association” under “Alzheimer’s Resources”.  There is a lot of information on that page, like:

“An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, including approximately 200,000 individuals younger than age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.” The Alzheimer’s Association site also states: “Alzheimer’s is officially the 6th leading cause of death in the United States” and “It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.”  This site also has a “brain tour” which has seven “pages” of basic brain information.  It has nine “pages” of “Alzheimer’s Disease and the Brain”.  It shows that the brain actually shrinks as it is attacked by the proteins.

I didn’t actually look to see if the progression has been slowed . . . as usual, I clicked a link and got distracted.  But, I think this is enough information for now.

I just thought this video was interesting.  I am sure there are more detailed videos out there, but sometimes quick and simple is nice.  Usually I can spot David Hyde Pierce’s voice in a second.  The first time I saw this I was surprised that he was the one narrating it.  It got me the second time too!  He is a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association.

I like to share the things I think are interesting.  Plus . . . I like to put it on my blog so I know where to find it when I want to see the information again.  I hope this helped teach you a bit about something you might not have known about.  I would imagine if you know someone – especially if you are taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s you know this information.  So, like I said, I hope you learned something.

Please share any information, insight, stories . . . . .

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