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"The Alzheimer's Journey: A Personal Reflection"

It's no wonder that most neurologists are baffled by the implications of Alzheimer's disease. From my own experience, I've never encountered two identical cases, each with similar progressions or symptoms. When cognitive functions deteriorate, the label of Alzheimer's eventually finds its way into a doctor's diagnosis.

My mother was the cornerstone of our household. As a mother of seven, she was a hub of ideas, services, and an unstoppable force always ready to handle any emergency or off-calendar need. I was always struck by how effortlessly she managed everything, from the occasional trips with my father to attending to her friends who frequented our home seeking her kind words or advice.

My mother found joy in helping those around her. As if that weren't enough, she naturally welcomed any friend we wanted to invite and anyone who, due to different circumstances, needed her affectionate support.

That's how we met Melissa, an American student no one expected at the destination station. We were on a train from Madrid to Alicante when she noticed this young girl who couldn't stop crying. Since my mother didn't speak English, she asked me to approach and inquire about her situation. Melissa was traveling from the US as part of a foreign exchange program and only knew she had to get to Alicante. My mother invited her home, and we managed to help her find her way, but something clicked between Melissa and our mother, and since then, she's been part of our extended family.

That being said, I'll attempt to address some relevant questions:

  • Why does a person so actively involved in caring for others undergo neuronal loss?

  • What is this disease that silently creeps in, gradually stripping away memories and familiar faces?

  • How does diet and physical activity relate to the onset, or prevention, of this disease? And most importantly...

  • Is it preventable?

I want to clarify that I'm not a neurologist nor do I have any medical specialization. I am simply a family member of someone with Alzheimer's, living through their illness with enough proximity to share our experiences, our journey, our discoveries, our failures... with the hope that some of the answers to the questions expressed here might help someone in a similar situation.

See you soon!

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