Alzheimer’s and other memory loss diseases influence more than those who suffer from the disease. According to the Alzheimers Association, family and friends of those with memory loss provide 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care. Nearly 60 percent of these caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high.
When caregivers are stressed, it directly affects the health of the person they are trying to help. It can also worsen mental health of the caregiver, impair their immune system, and speed up placement of their loved one in a residential care setting.
Of the many spectacular inventions of the 1900s, it’s safe to say we never may have made it to where we are today without radar, plastics or the once-revolutionary vacuum tube triode (responsible, in case you’re wondering, for launching the age of electronics).
Medical advances made throughout the 20th century, too, are nothing to bat an eye at.
How we Die: Comparing causes of death in 1900 v. 2010. In 1900’s, 53% died from infectious disease, today only 3% pic.twitter.com/gKPLcnAHQo
— Avi Roy (@agingroy) June 8, 2014
Last week, researchers from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan published findings in the journal Neuron signaling that they’d closed in on a diagnostic method to detect tangles of tau proteins previously linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
The work relies on a newly-developed chemical the researchers created that can actually bind to tau proteins in the brain. In turn, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning can then reveal any buildup of these tau proteins in patients suspected of having Alzheimer’s.
So just how big an advancement could this research be?