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Both of my parents' death certificates cited the cause of death as organic brain disease, which basically means dementia . They each had dementia, though each of them suffered from a significantly different type.
Dad's was dramatic. It was the result of surgery that was supposed to prevent the mental decline he would eventually suffer as a result of a World War II brain injury. Something went wrong in the surgery, and he came out of that surgery totally demented.
Mom's dementia was a more general type, which included memory loss and declining ability to make sense of things, but she did not have Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia.
When I looked at the certificates, I was a bit surprised to find organic brain disease listed as cause of death. I was aware at the time that Alzheimer's was considered terminal, as the body slowly weakens and "forgets" how to function. But I didn't consider that my parents would die from their dementia - especially my mother.
In talking to people about Alzheimer’s, the question sometimes comes up as to whether people actually die for this disease. The answer, I tell them, is a resounding YES!
Now I have new data to back up this statement. And I can use my mom’s case as a way of explaining it much better. Let’s see how my extra-long elevator speech sounds….
The Alzheimer’s Association’s 2013 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures points out that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in our country as well as the fifth-leading cause of death in people who are 65 and older.
While that seems bad enough, those numbers may in actuality be worse. That’s because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics only considers Alzheimer’s as the cause of death if the condition is listed on the death certificate. However, other conditions often are listed as the primary cause of deat...
Causes Herpes Viruses The herpes virus group includes a number of common infections, including herpes simplex, varicella-zoster (the cause of chickenpox and shingles), cytomegalovirus, herpes virus 6, and Epstein-Barr (EB) virus (the cause of mononucleosis). About 2,100 people are hospitalized each year from herpes-associated encephalitis. These viruses share certain features, including the capacity to cause an infection and then to go into hiding. They can lie dormant for periods of time as short as months or as long as a lifetime. In a few cases, when the viruses reactivate, they cause encephalitis. In fact, some evidence suggests that varicella-zoster, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr (EB) virus may be more common causes of encephalitis than previously thought. In most cases, however, encephalitis from these viruses occurs in people with impaired immune systems, such as people with HIV or organ transplant patients. Herpes Simplex Virus. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the most common c...
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