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New Perspective on Alzheimer's

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October 5, 2009

Monologue.

Sharon welcomed the listeners and talked about the importance of water in life and life in water. She said that it is imperative for everyone to realize the importance of water, to drink plenty of water and to carry water with them if they are unsure of a water source. Dehydration, or lack of water, is out of control in our world and causes or contributes to ailments from allergies to obesity.

Guest: Marilynn Garzione

Marilynn Garzione, MA (New York, NY), author of "Released to The Angels, Discovering the Hidden Gifts of Alzheimer's"

Marilynn Garzione's husband, Patrick, died of Alzheimer's disease. In years past, the disease was called "cerebral arteriosclerosis" (CAS) or hardening of the arteries. Her father and grandfather also died of Alzheimer's and it is growing in incidence.

Her primary point, and the point of her book, is that it is possible, even essential, that caregivers of victims of this devastating disease focus on the positive and avail themselves of an enormous amount of help, support and counseling that is available.

The earliest symptoms are not consistent because everyone differs. With Mrs. Garzione's husband, he began having episodes of disorientation, where he would forget words, or forget where he was. This was a very bright man who was always careful about his diet and the episodes went beyond momentary dementia or the forgetfulness that comes with age. He also lost his sense of humor.

Early on, he became lost when driving, and later, he cut himself and couldn't think of what to do about it, so he simply bled until his wife got home.

Eventually, the disease spiraled out of control and the victim's deterioration was hastened by fear, pride, denial and lack of education on what to do about it. Mental exercises, such as crossword puzzles, can slow the progress at first and there are many new drugs that can also slow the progression.

The most important step for caregivers is to become involved with the Alzheimer's Association, which has a vast array of resources and support groups for every stage of the disease.

Although Mrs. Garzione is not a doctor or researcher, she has read that the disease is caused by the improper breaking down of plaque fragments in the arteries of the brain. This begins about 10 years before the earliest symptom and causes congestion of the cerebral arteries. Being physically active, keeping healthy and drinking plenty of water can slow the progress.

The Alzheimer's Association can be reached at 1-800-272-3900. Mrs. Garxione's website is at www.releasedtotheangels.com.

Final words: It is OK not to be strong and not to have all the answers.

Categories: Health and wellness, 2009