• Walk to End Alzheimer’s

  • by Casey Chisholm

On Saturday, October 4th at the Oceanside Pier and October 18, at Balboa Park, One Reverse Mortgage, will participate in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  One Reverse team members and families, along with thousands of other people in the San Diego area, will walk to show their support for ending this disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive disease of the brain. It is characterized by impairment of memory, but eventually leads to disturbances in reasoning, planning, language, and perception. Scientists believe Alzheimer’s disease is a result from an increase in the production of the beta-amyloid protein in the brain that leads to nerve cell death.

What are the different stages?

Mild:

  • Forgetting where you put everyday things
  • Getting lost easier
  • Trouble with tasks such as paying bills or planning a party
  • Trouble finding the right words sometimes
  • Feeling less social
  • Feeling more irritable and moody

Moderate:

  • Not always know family and friends
  • Lose track of the day of the week or where you are
  • Forget details in your life, like your address, phone number, or where you went to high school or college
  • Have trouble putting clothes on in the right order or picking the right clothes, and later bathing and using the toilet
  • Jumble words
  • Have poor judgment about your health, finances, or safety

Severe:

  • Be unable to speak more than a half dozen words
  • Need help walking
  • Unable to sit up, smile, or hold up your head
  • Have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder
  • Wandering off and getting lost
  • Trouble remembering family members names
  • Personality changes
  • Develop new habits like wringing your hands or shredding tissues

Who does it effect?

The most common risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is age. 10% of people over 65 years old and 50% of those over 85 suffer from various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Genetic risk factors, can also be a cause for Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of patients develop Alzheimer’s disease after age 70, and less than 5% of patients develop the disease in their 40s or 50s. At least half of these early onset patients have inherited gene mutations associated with their Alzheimer’s disease. The children of a patient with the genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease has a 50% risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

What are the symptoms?

The onset of Alzheimer’s disease is gradual an usually the initial memory problems are dismissed as “a normal part of aging”, but are actually noted to be the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease. When memory starts to consistently affect the usual level of normal functioning; families begin to suspect that something more than simply “aging”.  Mild personality changes and a tendency to withdraw from social interactions, also may occur in beginning stages of the illness.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s helps to not only raise awareness of the disease, but also helps to raise funds to help find a cure for the disease. For more information on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s click here.