With a special brain scan now commercially available, people are being tested to see if they have Alzheimer’s disease. But if they get bad news, they face a quandary. They have a devastating ailment that has no cure.
The New York Times tackled this issue in a Page One story with the headline “For Alzheimer’s, Detection Advances Outpace Treatment Options.” It’s a heartbreaking story.
The Times used a woman named Awilda Jimenez as its case study. The 61-year-old touted as the first private patient in Arizona to have a state-of-the-art test to determine if she has Alzheimer’s. She had started to have trouble remembering things, prompting her husband Edwin to do some some research and find out about the test.
I’m sure you can see where this is going. Although the Jimenezes had hoped to hear good news, to end their worries, that isn’t how things worked out. The test determined that Awilda had Alzheimer’s, according to The Times. There is no cure yet. She and her husband are devastated. What should they do?
Some of her doctors suggested that she become part of a clinical trial of that she try an experimental drug. Instead, according to The Times, her husband is giving her things that he learned from the Internet can combat Alzheimer’s, such as coconut oil, turmeric and ginkgo biloba.
The new Alzheimer’s test, a brain scan, was made available to the public in June and is made by Eli Lilly. It detects beta amyloid, a protein that forms plague in the brain. Beta amyloid is considered a marker for Alzheimer’s.
The article does include interviews with patients who happily learned that they don’t have Alzheimer’s. But what of those who do?