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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Alzheimer’s Drug Breakthrough

In the last years of my own Dad’s life I felt so helpless and totally useless. My Dad was lost in his own mind from a disease that we could not explain and he would never be the same again. Here was the man that raised me in more ways than just providing a roof over my head and food in my belly. He was the one that instilled a sense of being, a belief in family, a desire to be the best that I could but it was okay to have fun in your life too. Mom had passed away many years before he came down with dementia and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. In my heart I honestly believe that the onset of Alzheimer’s came from the deep depression he went through after her death, he loved her very much, worshipped the ground she walked on so to speak.

My hero, my best friend, my closest confidant was gone for the most part mentally. It is a heartbreaking thing to go through as a child when your parent suffers from Alzheimer’s and no longer remembers you. When he could still walk he always reached for my hand which always made me wonder how much the progression of his disease scared him too. We would walk the aisles of the nursing home for an hour or so, I’d sit him down and read to him as he just looked off into space. If I stopped reading he would look around as if the music had stopped, he recognized that the change in sound but could not put the what and the why together. The simple confusion on his face would lead me to continue reading or talking about my little growing family.

One of the things they did not have when my Dad was suffering from Alzheimer’s is a drug treatment that could suspend the loss of cognition and the progression of the disease. Over at MSNBC they have this story courtesy of Reuters…

Alzheimer’s drug benefit lasts over 18 months

Patients taking Dimebon improved in cognition, memory, researchers say
updated 3:13 p.m. ET, Wed., July. 30, 2008

CHICAGO - A drug for Alzheimer's disease made by Medivation Inc called Dimebon kept symptoms at bay for 18 months, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The results, which were set to be presented at the Alzheimer's Association's international meeting in Chicago later on Wednesday, found Dimebon was safe and continued to benefit people who took it for a year-and-a-half.

There is not enough research going on in my personal opinion to help all of the people and families that have to live through the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. I’m thankful and hopeful for the researchers at Medivation and the work they have done on the behalf of people like my Dad that suffered from this incurable ailment. Eighteen months extension of Alzheimer’s may not seem like a long time but it is time that you as a relative of the effected person have that much more of. God bless you all over at Medivation for the progress you are making. I hope you know how much hope you have brought to so many families facing a loved one facing the possibility of having Alzheimer’s disease.

For people facing a loved one with Alzheimer’s I highly encourage you to seek out local support groups to take care of you. You are not alone and talking about what is happening to your loved one to others and getting it out of your system can never hurt. People facing the same situation are talking, healing, understanding the same situation you are facing. You do not have to face this alone.


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