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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Predicting Alzheimer’s

Predicting Alzheimer’s. That is what this article is about—predicting your mental and physical demise, to be prepared for your future. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Actually, I am. I don’t like it. It is one thing to know you are at risk from family history—for one disease or another, but a scan to reveal in 10 or 20 years you will begin the symptoms of Alzheimer’s… how depressing.

Depressing or an elixir. “I have ten years before dementia might begin, damn well better live now.” But shouldn’t we be living life that way without a fear of Alzheimer’s? Would it be a relief to be able to say, “She’s starting to forget things, just like we always knew?” Not to wonder “is it this or that?” but to have had time to prepare for the inevitable. Would I be suicidal when the dementia started—knowing for 15 years it was coming, knowing how terrible the demise of Alzheimer’s can be? Would I lose my car keys and say, “That’s the Alzheimer’s kicking in, guess it is time to say goodbye.”

There is also a certain beauty, which can be impossible to find, of Alzheimer’s. It is a mental regression and eventually every rose becomes the first rose the person has seen. It can be maddening for the caretakers, but I’ve heard if you can accept it, you can find the blessing.

I don’t want to be a medical naysayer, but I’m not sure I want the warning. And what if you didn’t get it? If they predicted it, you waited for Alzheimer’s and never got it? Then you died of natural causes (which I suppose Alzheimer’s is) or cancer that wasn’t predicted, but just happened. To spend so much time waiting for Alzheimer’s and then have the end come another way.

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