However, a doctor or other medical professional with AD could be putting people's lives at risk. Alzheimer's advocate Richard Taylor, Ph.D was treating patients at the time of his diagnosis. He resigned from treating patients, but continued to use his formidable knowledge as a teacher, where he could receive cues for his memory issues when needed. Taylor has continued to teach in many forms years into his disease, though of course he increasingly needs assistance with his work.
For many people who can't continue to work, the financial loss is huge. Not only is a salary lost to the family, but medical bills pile up. The woman interviewed for the USA Today article eventually lost her home. She has no health insurance. As she says, this isn't the life she was planning on.
It's safe to say that early on-set Alzheimer's disease doesn't fit well into anyone's plan. For that matter Alzheimer's disease at any age doesn't fit the blueprint of the life most of us have planned. That's the reason for awareness campaigns. Research is being conducted on many fronts and some of the findings are extremely positive. We need to encourage funding to keep this research moving forward until a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer's disease is found.
Bursack, C.B. (2012, March 5) Is it Alzheimer’s, a different type of dementia or something else entirely? HealthCentral. Retrieved from http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/c/62/150895/alzheimer-type
Sedensky, M. (2012, March 23) Dementia’s youngest victims often defy stereotypes. USA Today online. Retrieved from http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2012-03-23/Dementias-youngest-victims-often-defy-stereotypes/53739568/1
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Retrieved from http://www.alzfdn.org/AboutAlzheimers/statistics.html
Martin, D. (2011, November 23) Pat Summitt Takes Increased Role in Fight Against Alzheimer's. HealthCentral. Retrieved from http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/c/42/147480/summitt-alzheimer
Bursack, C.B. (2007, June 4) Richard Taylor's First-Hand Account of What It’s Like To Have Alzheimer's. HealthCentral. Retrieved from http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/c/62/10115/richard-taylors