Alzheimer’s is a frightening destination that touches us all, directly or indirectly. We have gleaned that readers gained pertinent information and important insights from our three-part Alzheimer’s disease series (Aug. 12, 19, 26).
Many of you told us how much you admire Linda Forrest, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and her husband and tender caretaker Richard. Linda is the great love of his life, and she is the loving beneficiary of his love. Despite her struggle with Alzheimer, Linda’s soul lights up the world. Richard doesn’t forget, and neither will her friends — and with this reportage, her many new admirers.
Others were intrigued by the medical aspect. Dementia and Alzheimer’s affect so many families in our community. Without a comprehensive neurological workup, it’s hard to differentiate between Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Younger (65 and older!) readers learned that forgetting names and failing to remember why they walked into a certain room is a fairly normal part of aging.
The research on Alzheimer’s, very aggressive yet not fast enough, illuminates the race for prevention. We bumped into surprises at every turn. For instance, researchers have shown that there is a connection between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s; investigating the “why”is a major focus at CU Anschutz. We were moved by the researchers’ tenacity; even though there may never be a cure for Alzheimer’s, they are confident that early detection and preventative measures will be discovered.
Alzheimer’s is a tough road this newspaper needed to investigate — for loved ones, friends, future generations — yet, we fervently hope, not for ourselves. Linda Forrest would expect nothing less than our most serious contemplation of this foe, which has emerged like a thief in the night to rob its victims of their identity and dignity.
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