Apr 29, 2010

Opinion Patient Happiness

By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

This was written in response to NIH Panel Finds Insufficient Evidence to Support Preventive Measures for Alzheimer's Disease.

Studies on the benefits of diet, lifestyle, and mental and physical activities on avoiding, postponing, or slowing down Alzheimer’s disease seem to always be conflicting.

What doesn’t seem to be conflicting is studies of how these activities improve the quality of life of those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Perhaps there’s nothing that could have been done to reduce Bob’s mom’s chances of having Alzheimer’s. That certainly doesn’t mean that the important things that Bob does for and with his mom don’t significantly improve her qualify of life.

The advanced Alzheimer’s patient, whose only intact brain activities may be in the areas of creativity, music, art, or puzzle making, may be able to use these tools as the best way to express their remaining humanity.

These activities may be their best road, or even their only road, to communication.

I, personally, do believe that these creative activities do slow down disease progression.

Constantly using one’s abilities, strengthens them. I believe this is true for everyone, including Alzheimer’s patients. However, even if it turns out that Alzheimer’s patients cannot reap all the benefits of practice, we know for sure that they are capable of reaping the benefits of feeling happiness.
Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER , a 501(c.)3 charitable organization. PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and other institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room