World Alzheimer’s Day is observed on September 21 every year to promote awareness about the disease, its causes and the overall risks that come with it. In many countries, World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated throughout September.
In what may sound like a staggering figure, close to 5 crore people are suffering from dementia globally. The disease is widespread and fairly common, and above all incurable.
World Alzheimer’s day 2022 Theme
- The theme for world Alzheimer’s month 2022 is “know dementia, know Alzheimer’s”.
- The theme is the same as 2021. However, this year we are giving special focus on post-diagnosis support.
History of World Alzheimer’s Day
The disease is named after Alois Alzheimer – a German psychiatrist – who discovered it for the first time in 1901 in a 50-year-old German lady. As the disease spread in its scope and severity, people felt the need to institute a body dedicated to the fight against this incurable illness. And Alzheimer’s Disease International got founded in 1984.
The organisation declared to celebrate every September 21 as World Alzheimer’s Day in 1994 – on its 10th anniversary. However, World Alzheimer’s Month was recognised in the year 2012.
World Alzheimer’s Day Significance
With close to 50 million patients – and growing – of dementia in the world. It becomes all the more significant to fight against this disease. And celebrating World Alzheimer’s Day every year goes a long way in this regard.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia – in which you lose your cognitive functioning – thinking, remembering, and reasoning – to such an extent that it interferes with daily life and activities.
Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that slowly, and permanently, destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Older or senior individuals are the ones most likely to fall prey to this progressive illness that causes brain cells to deteriorate gradually and die.
Alzheimer’s is just one of the diseases that cause dementia. Dementia is the state of declining mental ability.
Facts to know about Alzheimer’s disease
Is it a genetic disease?
- Yes, Alzheimer’s runs in the family. It’s genetic.
- Research shows that people with a parent or sibling suffering from Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop this disease in themselves.
- The risk increases if more than one family member has the illness.
Why it’s genetic?
- Remember APOE-e4 gene; This gene is the culprit behind one-quarter of Alzheimer’s cases.
- So people with this gene are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Is age a factor?
- Old age acts like a magnet to Alzheimer’s disease; especially for people older than 60 years.
- Most of the people to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are 65 years of age or older.
- However, people as young as in their late thirties have been detected to have this sickness.
Injury to the brain can induce Alzheimer’s
An accident, or a blow to the head, resulting in brain injury to the skull can cause a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Is Alzheimer’s curable?
- There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
- But there are medicines available that can temporarily reduce the symptoms.
- With almost 50 million individuals living with dementia globally
Symbol & Colour of Alzheimer’s
- The forget-me-not flower is a symbol of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
- The small blue flower represents remembrance and is long associated with dementia.
- Purple is called the colour of Alzheimer’s. The colour was chosen by the American Alzheimer’s Association.
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(With Inputs from careerindia)