Death rates from cancer down 2%.  Not cures exactly, but rather the decrease in smoking, unhealthy habits, and the increase in testing that patients are now more willing to undergo that allow earlier diagnosis and therefore a better likelihood of a cure.  Good news, but I’d like to see the decrease in the occurence of cancer rather than just the death rate.

An Alzheimer’s test developed at Stanford University to diagnose the possibility of Alzheimer’s or tendency to develop it, from a drop of blood, is 90% accurate.  Based on the onset of the disease, prior to really definitive symptoms when the immune system is called upon and there will be the presence of chemical enzymes within the blood.  Again, the question of wanting to know without the possibility of a cure is a problem, though there are proven medications to stall the progress of the disease.

Autism too may be helped by early recognition and testing.  Online, a website for parents provides a visual of many of the telltale signs of autism.  While books may well illustrate and describe, the obvious advantage of video makes the internet website an ideal learning spot.

One thing I’m happy about is that Alzheimers is being recognized and given priority.  I’ve had experience with this hideous disease, and besides the pain and horror it brings to the family and caregivers, there’s a real concern here as people are physically healthy and live longer only to become dependent on care facilities sometimes for ten years or longer.  With the amount of baby boomers coming of age, I would think that the government should make every effort to provide funds in this direction of research and cure to allow people to remain in their homes and independent.

We were lucky.  My father took care of my mother  at home until she fell, went to the hospital with a hairline fracture, did the three weeks in rehab, was put into the Alzheimers unit from there and died within one month at the age of ninety. A neighbor’s wife was diagnosed at age 55 and had been in a care facility for 15 years.  A friend’s mother, for 12 years.  These were women in perfect physical health–as was my mother–except for the slow loss of their mind.

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