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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Alzheimer's Story: How I'm Preparing to Get Alzheimer's


“The more things my hands know how to do, the more things that I can be happy and busy doing when my brain's not running the show anymore.”

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's Story: How I'm Preparing to Get Alzheimer's
Alanna Shaikh
When faced with a parent suffering from Alzheimer's, most of us respond with denial ("It won't happen to me") or extreme efforts at prevention. But global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh sees it differently. She's taking three concrete steps to prepare for the moment -- should it arrive -- when she herself gets Alzheimer's disease.

Global development expert Alanna Shaikh takes on the toughest of health issues—from the ones affecting the globe at large to the ones hurting her own family.

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TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh is a global health and development specialist with a vendetta against jargon. On her blog, Blood and Milk, she aims to make global development issues both accessible and understandable.

In her TED Book, What's Killing Us, she explains the biggest challenges in global wellness -- from HIV/AIDS to the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics -- in a way that anyone can understand. Earlier this year, she co-founded AidSource, a social network for aid workers. She is also the co-founder of the group SMART Aid, which educates donors and start-up projects about international aid.

Alanna Shaikh is especially interested in Alzheimer's, as she has watched her father deteriorate from the disease over the past 12 years. But she says the experience has not sent her into denial—she plans to be prepared for the genetically transmitted disease, should it ever arrive.

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