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Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: History & Facts

Alzheimer’s disease has become recognized as a condition that a growing number of seniors and their caregivers face every day. It can be hard to understand Alzheimer’s disease, which is why Franklin Park® Senior Living wants to help our readers and share some general information and historical facts that can be helpful to you and your loved one.

If your loved one was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or you are beginning to see signs of memory impairments, we are here to help. Many of our senior living communities throughout Texas offer memory care services that could benefit your loved one.

Early History

The history of Alzheimer’s disease dates back as early as 1906. Alois Alzheimer, of which the disease is named after, observed the first recorded case of the disease. While the condition has been present before, Alois Alzheimer was the first to note the shrinkage of nerves in and around the brain during the autopsy of his patient known as Auguste D.

Unfortunately, Alois was unable to research the disease due to technological constraints. This all changed in 1931 when Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska invented the electron microscope, allowing magnification up to 1 million times! This invention allowed scientists to study brain cells in significantly better detail.

In 1968, cognitive scales became popular for cognitive research. These scales allow researchers and scientists to measure the impairment and help further estimate the damage of brain tissue. In 1974, Congress established The National Institute on Aging (NIA), which, to this day, supports Alzheimer’s disease research.

The next and most significant break for Alzheimer’s disease came with a price. In 1994, former President Ronald Regan announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This stunning announcement led to a surge of awareness for the disease and much of its funding.

Modern History

Although Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures are still being researched, former President Obama signed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act in 2011. This bill proposed a national framework to support and fund Alzheimer’s research. At the G8 Dementia Summit in 2013, an international effort to fight and research Alzheimer’s was launched. The goal is to find a cure by 2025!

A lot of groundwork has been laid in its first 100 years of being discovered. The facts behind the disease are currently the greatest opponent of researchers. While there is currently no cure, there are plenty of methods to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Helpful Methods and Hope

Researchers have begun finding methods that give some hope of slowing progression. Some of these preventative measures include physical and mental exercise routines, as well as some dietary restrictions. The NIA also has a list of incredibly helpful tips for dealing with and managing the disease. If your loved one was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, there is still something that can be done to help them. Research is being conducted to help fully understand and hopefully even reverse the effects of the disease.

Franklin Park® Senior Living is proud to help seniors achieve their goals and improve their lives. We know that having a supportive network can be instrumental in your loved one’s care. We offer memory care services to seniors that need a professional caregiver’s aid. We hope that these Alzheimer’s disease facts have given you some foundational knowledge of the condition. Understanding the condition is the first step in working to help your loved one.

We encourage you to check out a Franklin Park® Senior Living community near you to learn more about our senior living and memory care services.