In less than a month, thousands of people will gather in San Francisco for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, so I’m in a frame of mind that is slightly off topic.
Sherrie, Alzheimer’s Advocate, Caregiver, and Walk to End Alzheimer’s participant
Therefore, this entry is not about something I just read regarding the latest drug that has promise or the one that failed. It’s not about hounding you to write another letter or make one more phone call to insist that lawmakers fund more research or vote for legislation that makes living with Alzheimer’s more bearable. Instead, this is about my mother.
It could be that because the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is just around the corner, my dreams of my mom – who died in 2000 and for whom I had cared for many long years – are more present. Continue reading “With Walk around the corner, dreams about Mom start to change” »
I’ve shared my personal Alzheimer’s story a hundred times. On my walk webpage, on my facebook fundraising posts, in my personal emails to friends asking for donations and in person with people I meet everyday. I walk in memory of my mom, who died from Alzheimer’s 4 years ago.
But this week, I gained a new perspective on why my family walks and discovered another way for our family to share our story.
Sail + Give + Live
My sister Shannon is about to take a big leap in life – going from a comfortable home in Oakland to living on a 40-foot sailboat with her husband and two kids. We were all shocked to hear about this drastic move and their plans to pack up and sail around the world in two years. But Shannon started a blog, and after reading her story, I understand the decision and support it 100%. I know it won’t all be easy, but it will be an amazing experience.
My change of heart after reading Shannon’s blog reminded me of how important it is for us who have had experience with this disease to tell our story. I read the story from her perspective as a woman who lost her mom to Alzheimer’s and suddenly the big decision all makes sense.
Walkers can learn a lot from this principle. Did you know that people who add their story and a photo or video to their personal Walk fundraising pages raise more money than those who don’t? That is a tangible example of how stories will help us move this cause forward and I hope all of you share yours often. Continue reading “Why leave a 1400 square-foot house for a 40-foot sailboat? Read the story, and you’ll understand” »
I’m a big fan of microwave popcorn so I was disheartened to see dozens of headlines in the past couple weeks that imply the butter flavoring in popcorn could be related to Alzheimer’s. I took a closer look at the information and here’s the rundown:
Diacetyl, a substance used in butter flavoring, increases beta-amyloid clumping in test tube experiments. It also enhances beta-amyloid’s toxic effects on nerve cells grown in the laboratory. Beta-amyloid is an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The research was conducted in cell culture, basically in a test tube.
Beyond the headline
Despite the news headlines about this study, diacetyl is no longer used in the popcorn industry! This is because substance was previously shown to have negative respiratory health effects on popcorn factory workers. In addition, while these results were achieved in a test tube, the same findings may not be true inside a person’s brain.
The bottom line
While popcorn lovers probably won’t be exposed to this substance as it’s no longer used in the industry, research on diacetyl could be an interesting new area of research.
For more information on the latest news and developments in Alzheimer’s research, visit www.alz.org/research.