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Grey's Anatomy slapped me in the face.

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  • Grey's Anatomy slapped me in the face.

    Hey ladies! And gentlemen lol..I know I haven't been on here in awhile but I'e been dealing with a bunch. I also started back working so everything has been piling on and I'm dealing. Very well I think. But I'd like to come to my favorite advice/support group and ask a serious question..

    So I'm catching up on my Grey's Anatomy...and it's the episode were McDreamy (gosh I love that name) was talking about how Meredith forgets really simple things. It had me thinking about my grandpa that died from Alzheimer's.

    Now would any of you know if I could get the gene from a grandparent? I want to know. I forget really simple things all the times...thing I wouldn't forget before. It makes it seem as though over the time, I've become ditzy. Just curious...if this is possible, I want to get tested for the gene. Scary scary though...

  • It is possible to have a genetic test for certain loci (loci are certain areas on a chromosome that indicate biological functions) associated with Alzheimer's, however there really is no genetic basis to the disease. It is very sporadic and random when it attacks and who it attacks, and once it starts there is nothing that stops it. Those genetic tests though will only tell you whether or not a certain protein gene that is thought to be associated with Alzheimer's is present in your chromosome, it does not mean that having a certain gene will equate Alzheimer's. It just means having a certain thing like a protein gene is there and it could be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's, not that it will cause Alzheimer's. There is no way to 100% determine who is going to be affected by Alzheimer's.

    As for your forgetting, it is simply daily forgetting we all do it. Alzheimer's symptoms will not occur until early 50's to 60's. After that age the number of cases goes way up.
    There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.


    • Thanks for the detailed reply! Puts me at ease a bit. I tend to worry about insignificant things..and I can be a bit of a hypochondriac.


      • I don't see why not?.... I mean, if the color of your walls can give you cancer (supposedly) what's to say you couldn't be passed down a gene? I get lots of problems from all our family history... And I'm probably the most forgetful person you will ever meet! (who isn't senile anyway. Lol)
        Some of my favorite things I found about the condition, would be :

        Recent studies show that drinking juice (vegetable and/or fruit) seems to protect people from the disease. Add this to the other suggestions we’ve learned about: Eating a low-calorie diet, staying intellectually active, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, getting plenty of exercise, and….be still my heart….drinking coffee.

        One of the best things we can all do, however, is to STAY INFORMED. Don’t skim over medical stories that you think will never affect you – Rather, read them front to back to learn what you can do to make sure they never will affect you.

        Facts about Alzheimer’s:

        ** The best estimate is that 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, although the number probably will rise as the population ages.
        ** Scientists don’t know exactly what causes Alzheimer’s, but they think many factors can affect each person differently.
        ** Though Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, age is a primary factor. Alzheimer’s usually doesn’t appear until after age 60. About 5 percent of people ages 65 to 74 have the disease, but the percentage jumps to nearly half after age 85.
        ** Generally, if members of your family have had Alzheimer’s, you are more likely to be at risk. For example, researchers know that early-onset Alzheimer’s, a rare form that strikes between ages 30 and 60, is inherited. Doctors think a number of genetic mutations and variations can increase risk, but they haven’t been identified yet.
        ** Alzheimer’s develops slowly and can begin to appear as forgetfulness. however most people with mild forgetfulness don’t have Alzheimer’s.
        ** For now the only way to definitely diagnose Alzheimer’s is to examine brain tissue after a person dies. However, at specialized centers – such as the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging – experts can use specialized cognitive testing to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s in about 90 percent of cases.
        ** Drugs sometimes can slow symptoms in the early and middle stages of the disease, but there is no cure. Yet.

        and 2.

        What is Alzheimer’s disease?

        Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative problem characterized by memory loss as well as loss in thinking skills. It is actually part of a constellation of memory and brain problems called dementia. It can lead to behavioral changes, loss of language skills, disorientation, confusion and increasing dependency. Most experts believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by a problem in the genetic make-up and is often associated with old age.

        What are the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

        In the beginning stages, it is not easy to determine that Alzheimer’s is the culprit simply because the onset of the disease will often manifest in symptoms often associated with forgetfulness due to aging. What separates this problem though is the fact that people with Alzheimer’s will eventually even forget normal routines and simple tasks. For instance, patients with Alzheimer’s can forget how to hold a spoon and fork while others will forget how to brush their teeth and take a bath. Believe it or not, some medical experts even say that some may even forget how to breathe. It can start with ordinary forgetting of names and faces until it progresses to something major that can render the person totally incapacitated.

        Who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease?

        Although there are cases of Alzheimer’s that affected people in their 30s, most patients are over the age of 65 and a vast majority is over the age of 85. In addition to old age, experts believe that a family history of the same problem or of dementia may predispose someone to the disease. This is because experts pinpoint a defect in the genetic make up of the person who has Alzheimer’s disease.

        People who are not regularly pursueing mental activities or employment that do not involve mental strains have a higher risk of developing the disease compared to people who often stretch their mental muscles either through work or play. In fact, one of the ways to prevent the onset of dementia is to exercise the brain all the time especially for older individuals. Even when one is already retired from work, the elderly should not forget to use their minds by engaging in mental pursuits such as reading, doing crossword puzzles and even playing board games.

        How do you diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease?

        As mentioned earlier, it is extremely difficult for a person to differentiate an ordinary case of forgetfulness and dementia at the beginning of the disease. Some of the symptoms, such as slow mental processing and forgetfulness may be attributed to other problems such as thyroid gland problems, reactions to medications that are being taken, and even just a normal aging process. To really ensure that the problem is indeed Alzheimer’s, doctors rule out other possibilities and conduct series of tests. These may include brain imaging, neurological tests, physical exams and anything else the doctor feels will help determine if Alzheimer’s is the culprit.


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