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KBSI Perspective
In the last few months, an acquaintance of mine died of Alzheimer’s.  He was sick for several years.  Too me, it was even more amazing that he died at 62 years of age.  During his prime years, before contracting the disease, he would have been considered a mathematical whiz.   He owned and operated several large new car dealerships.  If you don’t think we need to do everything to conquer or at least slow down this horrific disease recent medical statistics state the annual death rate from Alzheimer’s is probably more closer to 500,000 people annually rather than the 85,000 that is currently counted by the government.  The study was published recently in the journal Neurology.  2,500 older adults donated their brains after death for autopsies and the results were astounding.  Alzheimer’s, even with a focus on older people, is way underreported as a cause of death.  A University of Michigan scientist says, “If you develop Alzheimer’s, you are going to die a lot earlier than someone who does not.”  The problem is death certificates do not represent that more people are dying due to the disease.  The death certificate says something else such as pneumonia.  Usually it is because the actual diagnosis was never made or it is a combination of denial, ageism and stigma.  I didn’t know that sometimes patients forget how to use their throat muscles to keep food from entering the lungs and they get pneumonia.  Recently, two studies are giving us a glimmer of hope for the future but currently Alzheimer’s is nearly as lethal as heart disease and cancer.  And, it just may be more costly.Alzheirmers and Pre-Mature Death


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