We start them young

Are cartoons good entertainment for children?

While seemingly unharmful, cartoons may apparently have its downside, especially when the adults don’t actually screen carefully the contents of what their children watch. The so-called presumption that a “cartoon” is just a figure of imagination may actually be portrayed differently by the young mind.

Not all cartoons are appropriate for age. There are those whose languages and behavior are left for adult viewing. (As a matter of fact, even pegged to be farcical sarcasm takes on politics or life in general, the adult-themed cartoons carry heavy parental guidance or for adults only restrictions.)

Bob’s Burger, Family Guy, The Simpson’s (and a lot more lately on Netflix) are examples of cartoons that are not suitable for young children.

As parents or caregivers, we need to screen what the kids are watching. Just because it’s a “kids” show and that it sells a lot of “kids toys” does not mean that the show is appropriate for a young audience. (I have a lot of “adult” friends who collect various paraphernalia from Funko Pop to Marvel heroes to Anime, as a collectors item). Even the harmless LEGO has become a “toy” for collection and interior design.

And not just because it’s rated aired in a family channel, the contents are appropriate for ALL children regardless of age group.

There’s a reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated in the Fall of 2016 their recommendation of the use of digital media in children. It includes not only how much time, but why, how, when and where it is appreciate to use.

For children 2-5 years old, media should be limited to 1 hour a day and involve high quality programming or something the parents and child can view together.

Except for video chatting, those less than 1 1/2 years old, should avoid any form of digital media.

I get the fact that we all want a little “me time”. After all, it is a handful having to handle one (or a bunch of) rambunctious toddler who’s beginning to explore the world.

In this world where we need to juggle career and family, I applaud parents who take raising a family built on personal supervision as a priority. When you place some of your priorities in the backseat, and care for the overall welfare of your kids more, we start teaching them to discern right from wrong while they’re young.

The British cartoon Peppa Pig is a classic example of an ambiguous cartoon disguised as harmless. Let’s look at it from the angle of what message it sends to a young child.

There’s fat shaming. Yes Peppa repeatedly fat shames her daddy. And the father isn’t much of a role model because he allows Peppa to call him names. Really! Allowing your child to get away cursively at fat shaming you takes the cake at saying, “it’s alright”! And Peppa talks back a mouthful too. Just like the child actress Raissa in the local noontime show on Eat Bulaga, kids think that it’s okay to be “astig” and answer back “wittingly” with adults.

We need to remember that children absorb a show different from adults. While we may find it funny, our entertainment is their learning process. Their brains are like sponges. At that age, they absorb anything and everything. That’s why they try to get their way while they’re growing up. Who they are today, is because we let them.

Solid research demonstrates that in children more than 3 years old, high quality programs like Sesame Street, that teach new ideas are advisable.

Early childhood is a time of rapid brain development, and kids need to balance sleep, learning and playing, and emotional and relationship building. Too much time spent on digital media curtails these other learning processes.

The next time you think that it’s okay to just switch on a seemingly harmless show, I suggest you sit down and watch them with your child.

Discernment, after all, is a virtue.

After all, we shape and mold these young minds from the get go. What they become tomorrow, is how we raise them today.

Well F you too…

di ba parang tanga lang kung minsan?

nakakinis na eh.

You’re reading a news report and when you scroll down there are idiotic comments from irritatingly irrelevant trolls. They’re everywhere. Like maggots or pests that just sprout out of nowhere. They’re the bane of life.

kung minsan ayaw mong patulan yan mga engot na pag nagcomment ka ng matino sa isang issue, walang sinabi kundi, DDS tayo!!! Die Hard!!! Huwag kalimutan ang SAF44, at ang mga biktima ng Dengvaxia, etc., etc.


di naman yon ang pinaguusapan. pero talagang pag tanga, wagas! mga gago! Sobra naman ang pagiging die hard lang talaga. Kahit na sobrang epal at tanga. Grabe.

Most of them are just that – trolls. They have fake identities. You can tell. They repetitively post and repost comments (cut and paste) that have no relevance at all to the issue at hand.

Oh and this isn’t about PNoy. The previous presidents had their shining and shaming moments as well.

But what the F! It used to be that when one needed to say something about an issue, we did. Let’s just say that there was room for intelligent discourse rather than unnecessary comments with no reason or rhyme.

Commenting against a faux pas regardless of who is the sitting president does not mean being against the administration. It means calling a spade a spade at atrocities from the get go. It keeps the democracy of a country vibrant and healthy.

The most difficult issue with these maggots is that they have no accountability. Well yes and having no brains at all for that matter is a different story altogether.

They punch the keyboards with senseless comments and don’t bring anything to the table. Obviously they can’t because they’re pseudonyms. They’re not real people. I’m willing to even bet that more than half of them are not registered voters or have no right to vote or aren’t even taxpayers.

You sometimes want to look the other way but can’t help it. Either shake your head at so much stupidity going around and wonder if it’s a mental illness or new found disease or have these people just simply lost it?

Basic logic and common sense has been thrown out of the window.

This is an example of a post online.

It’s just news. But no!!! You get reactions that range from idiotic to threatening and you know that dumb shit is just everywhere.

I’d understand if you’re getting paid to peddle misinformation and display a pompous attitude towards freedom of expression. After all, the bias of these trolls is quite obvious. It’s for the money. Sadly, I can’t say the same for those who don’t receive a centavo and yet are at the giving end of lies and evil.

Really, whoever is doing this, is giving a bad name to the president. If I were Duterte, I would have all these bastards flushed down the drain and incarcerated for destroying his reputation. (Unless of course his camp is propagating all these.)

When you cannot determine the thin line between being stupid or just a turd, you can just use or sense of smell. And you can tell the turd isn’t far behind you.

Mentors and tormentors

You’ve got to give it to the Filipino people. Not only are we a nation with the most beautiful smiles in the world. We’re probably the most patient as well.

My barometer for patience is how we react to inefficiency and injustice.

Of course, I say that with sarcasm.

I’m guessing that the root of why we are and who we are as a people is because of our colonial history. Yep! That’s right. Everyone’s destiny is shaped by our invaders. You know the drift – divide and conquer.

If we look at our Asian and ASEAN neighbours alone, we all share a history of being colonized or invaded by a foreign country.  I think enslaved would have been a better term.  From out of the rubbles, all these countries stood tall.  Even Vietnam, a country that saw a war with the United States tear that country apart, has resurrected from the ashes to become one of the most rapid economic regions in ASEAN.

The Philippines has gone through several foreign colonizers and oppressors. Let’s face it. As a people, I think we’ve grown accustomed to the fact that we were bullied from the get go in the writing of our history.

They have a term for that in psychology/psychiatry – it’s called Stockholm Syndrome.

Our level of bullying was so ingrained that the Filipinos could not tell if they preferred getting abused by a foreign invader or later on, by fellow Filipinos who would eventually believe that their actions are to deliver the Filipinos from hell. Aguinaldo would become a household name to Philippine history. He was the President of the First Philippine Republic.

Our history was riddled with presidents and invasions from foreigners in between the terms of these presidents.

Philippine History tells about how foreigners saw the strategic position of the Philippines in Asia and the ASEAN region. I am sure they knew that were a nation worth the conquer. The rich resources. The beautiful people. There was more to gain than lose.

We’re definitely up there when it comes to patience.  We’re patient with gaining our own independence and our self worth.  Sometimes we come close to achieving it and when it is within our grasp, we let other people take away our national pride.

We’ve not allowed history to be our lesson.  We’ve let history repeat itself.  This time allowing Filipinos who torment and lead by tyranny and injustice become their voices.

Think about the disambiguation.

Those who still believe that there will be deliverance in the midst of impunity most likely suffer from Stockholm syndrome. And we only have history and our colonizers to blame for being unpatriotic.

Or when we sleep with our tormentors.

Common sense and logic

In my first year in college, one of our subject was Logic.  I recall my professor, Mrs. Estrella de Leon passionately going through the essentials of simple logic.

Logic after all is fundamental to how humans communicate.  Public debates, ways of reasoning are daily exercises that are shaped by the principles of logic. Mathematical background and symbolic methods are not prerequisites to symbolic logic.  All that is required is the brain in between your two ears in order to appreciate Argument and Critical Thinking.

Symbolic logic is the simplest form of logic and is a great time-saver in argumentation. It works on basic premises of common sense. It requires minor intuitive neuronal capacity for understanding. There is, after all, a scientific basis for something as basic as logic.

Basic logic, after all, is common sense.

Aristotle once said that

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Logic and common sense escapes many of us today.

From government officials to the trolls who have nothing better to do in life but leave vile useless, brainless comments. Or make inutile decisions that are tantamount to making stupid a daily exercise in judgement.

It is obvious that these oppressors are simply trying to silence the noise. But not everyone lacks logic or common sense. Balls and courage may be lacking but hopefully we find enough moral values that isn’t ready to sell our souls and integrity to the devil.

We all know where this is leading to. Because in politics today, common sense and logic just don’t go together.

Let’s not even try to argue the obvious fact that those who still embrace the way the government is being run have run out of the remaining common sense and logic they have left. If you feel alluded to, take a bow.

Good people don’t need laws to tell them to act responsibly, and bad people will always find a way around the laws.

– Plato

No approved therapeutic claim

For the record, let me start with a disclaimer.

I am not against complementary alternative medicine (CAM).  They may have their roles in various health and illness.  But just because they are “natural” or “alternative” does not give them the territory of absolutely safety. While there may be a role for many CAMs, the need to prove that the benefits outweigh the risks is important. And coming out with well controlled studies are essential to demonstrate that it can actually cure and is treatment to a disease. Otherwise, their claims will always be supplementary at best.

The Food and Drug Administration evaluates medicines based on quality, efficacy and safety standards.  If they meet these criteria, then they are given marketing authorisation.

On the clinical aspect, a drug (or supplement or complementary medicine) to be useful must at best fulfill the following: suitability (need), efficacy, safety, and affordability. For those that are off patent, interchangeability standards are required.

Let’s use dry cough as an example.

Most herbal medicines apply their products as food during the registration process. The reason for this may be multiple in nature.

Doing robust clinical trials are costly. It’s important that they follow Good Clinical Practice and approved by an accredited Ethics Review Board or Institutional Review Board to ensure that no harm is unwarrantedly done in the proposed studies or that the benefit of conducting the trial outweighs other risks. They should, at the very least be able to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt (statistically significant difference) that between the experimental agent and placebo and/or standard accepted therapy, the experimental agent works.

Even something as minor as dry cough, to claim that it works better than water or     drugs in the symptomatic relief can cost an arm and a leg to execute properly.

Most herbal manufacturers don’t have that kind of money OR refuse to part with that amount of money.  Because pharmacognostically, the herbal agent may have mucolytic property, they can claim that the preparation may exhibit the same therapeutic properties as conventional drugs. All they will need to do is to (a) claim it is food and/or (b) use an endorser or testimonials to market the product. As to whether it is ethical to use these avenues for registering a product for a specific claim – the rule of thumb they follow is – THE ROAD TO NO APPROVED THERAPEUTIC CLAIMS.

It is not a medicine.  It is not for the treatment of a disease.  It simply helps.  It is natural.  It is an adjunct or supplement.

The second reason is proprietary ownership. CAM is a multibillion billion dollar business.  Grand View Research Inc. reported on April 2017 that the CAM industry would be worth around $196.87 BILLION USD by 2025.  That’s about 6 years down the road for us.  CAM finds its path into chronic diseases – hypertension, diabetes, kidney problems, liver ailments, cancer, etc.  The push here is driven by the increasing cost of conventional medicines and the marketing drive to overall wellness using vitamins, supplements, minerals and naturopathy.  But since the ingredients used in many CAM products are plant and nature derived, the proprietary rights to sources that are natural from the get go make it easy to replicate many of these success stories on botanicals. In short, nature has no patent.

Natural agents will need to, however, demonstrate its purity and safety.  The consistency in the manufacture of these products from batch to batch, their stability, interactions between ingredients that can cause potentiating or harmful effects when mixed with other herbal products are some considerations when evaluating these products.

After all, not all roses will be the same, even if they come from the same root or stem. Even the leaves of one bush of rose will vary among themselves.

It is easy to see, how skeptical the CAM industry is in sharing their “trade secrets”.  After all, even with vitamin C alone, the sources are vast and evidently wide if you were looking at a basket of fruits alone.

Third is the business aspect of CAM.  With rules and ethical norms guiding the principles of marketing in the pharmaceutical industry becoming more important, the business of CAM is unregulated to this degree.  Food, after all, is something that one can easily concoct and sell, even on an underground basis.  Drugs require that all products are under the radar of every National Regulatory Authority.  But CAM usually escapes both the mind of the consumer and the distributor through their no approved therapeutic claim pitch.  Actors and actresses, media men, personalities and every Tom, Dick, and Harry are easily paid to claim that taking herbal agents have made them look more radiant, younger, become smarter, or even have a better boner during sex.

In addition, unlike drugs which are given 20% senior citizen and PWD discounts (and less 12% Value Added Tax), supplements are not covered with this entitlement.

Then there’s the extravagant extended claim that it’s a do it all “medicine”. By golly, it will attempt to address allergies even if it’s nothing but a purported immunomodulator. Allergic disorders are NOT an immunologic problem per se. And there are more of this kind of marketing. Grow taller, be brighter, achieve more are dreams we all chase.

Do they really work?

The problem with CAM is that they’re also easily adulterated.  Under the guise of a supplement, many products have been noted to have active ingredients of conventional drugs but are sold as supplements and natural products and claim to work “as good as the conventional drug and are safer because they are ‘natural’.”

There was news back in September 2016 where a local supplement for erectile dysfunction was noted to be adulterated with tadalafil, a conventional drug that is used for treating this disorder.  Some Chinese ointments and creams contain a mixture of steroids and other antibacterial or anti fungals and claim that it is a do it all topical agent for the treatment for skin problems. They find their way into the shelves of dubious unlicensed outlets but are sold through pyramidal schemes or online. Hence the need for even herbal products being regulated to some degree.

The gullible consumer is often convinced of the efficacy of a product from testimonials of friends and family. Their marketing push will always be “natural” is safe.

I often get the question from patients on which multivitamin preparation is best or what cough remedy is suitable for their child.  I answer always – food for the former, and water for the latter. Nothing comes more natural than that!

While some (if not many) of these herbal products actually benefit the patients who use it for a specific disease, the consumer is warned about the purity of the products that make a claim, especially those whose claims are superfluous.  In addition, it is always good to discuss treatment strategies with your doctor when you are taking CAM.  The physician should likewise read up on the field of CAM so that he/she can guide his/her patients toward total body wellness.

To first do no harm is not the purview of only one specialty.  It is, everyone’s business to make sure that it is not abused for financial remuneration alone.

Because profiting from something that doesn’t work – whether conventional or CAM – is harm on patients who buy a bottle or a pill of hope.

Survey says!

There’s a TV show entitled Family Feud that we’re all familiar with.  The contestants try to guess the top answers to a topic or question on the board with the host revealing the answers by shouting – Survey says!

My lectures in Research Methodologies includes Surveys and Questionnaires.

I will not make this blog complicated.  It is not a discourse in mathematics and statistics.  While there are people that will pretend to know about this topic, I am writing this for you.  Sharing it among the misinformed can help guide them in the interpretation and utilisation of surveys, as well as educate them on the the advantages and disadvantages of relying on surveys as a mathematical basis for outcome analysis.

If you’re ready to get educated, read on.

What is a survey?

It’s a research method used to collect information about a population of interest.

It is a reflection of information of a single point in time. TODAY. In short, it means that a survey today cannot be extrapolated with absolute certainty to something that has not happened yet.  Many circumstances that change will with certainty affect outcomes.

Let us use the last presidential election as a classic example on how fickle minded surveys are.  The Presidential race was a shoo-in for Vice President Jejomar Binay.  When Grace Poe threw the gauntlet, there was a shift of tide. The dark horse Rodrigo Duterte won that election. You could tell that when the people marched to the polls, Poe was going to slip further down the road.  Roxas landed a far second from Duterte. But the Liberal Party knew that from the get go.  Unless Poe gave up her candidacy, there would be no way Roxas would win over Duterte. And Poe should have known that a neophyte would never win this election.

The Vice-Presidential race saw independent candidate Chiz Escudero at the forefront at the start of the surveys.  Subsequently BongBong Marcos began to climb slowly to eventually lead the pack.  A month before the Vice-Presidential debate, the young Marcos was ahead. During the debates, Allan Peter Cayetano practically delivered the Vice-Presidency to Robredo on a silver platter. His maligning the young Marcos and resurrecting the Martial Law regime and the billions that they stole provided the setback needed to push Robredo to the forefront.  That one and only debate was the final nail on the coffin.  The aftermath of that debate was a winning moment for a dark horse like Robredo.  Even the surveys agreed. A week before the elections, Robredo and Marcos were statistically tied. Marcos should have learned from the last presidential election where Roxas lost to Binay.

It is important to know that there are various types of surveys. There are also various ways of conducting a survey. And finally, there are many ways a sampling method is done.

Because of the complexities in making sure that a reliable survey is well designed, a poorly done survey, is a biased one. It is important to remember that bias sampling is the best way to skew data to favour desired outcome.  Appropriate randomisation in order to clearly reflect the true population being surveyed is vital to the reliability and accuracy of any survey.

Remember – a survey is made up of a sample from the population.  Unlike a census, where each and every person inclusible is included, a survey utilises only a sample.  That sample SHOULD be highly representative of the population the survey intends to address.

Self-administered vs. enablers

Surveys (and questionnaires) can be self-administered. That means that I give you a piece of paper or ask you a question online and you just provide the answer.  It’s usually answerable by multiple choice(s).

Then there are those that use enablers or enumerators.  In short, there are people that are sent to the field and these people conduct the interviews by asking questions to the respondent.  Using enablers is an additional layer of bias.  How the interviewee replies to the question and how the respondent is approached by the enabler can affect the response.  How the enabler chooses the respondent when the actual respondent targeted is not there is the largest bias called convenience sampling.


Leo Laroza, senior survey research and communications specialist from the Social Weather Station provided the methodology the SWS uses in undertaking their surveys.  From choosing 1,200 (because it’s an internationally accepted number sample size?!? is a lame answer) as the number of respondents of voting age. From the way the stratified random sampling is conducted, the likelihood of the survey results being accurate and reliable should be considered.  And they peg their errors at +/- a certain percentage.  The basis for the percentage error should be disclosed, particularly with how many hits and misses they had for an enabler assisted survey.

Their constraints on areas that are not readily reachable compared to the more accessible ones introduces bias already.  Another bias is on dividing the 1,200 into 4 areas – Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.  Then appropriating 300 subjects for each of these four areas, and further subdividing these 300 into 60 barangays (which means 5 people per barangay for Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, the whole of the Visayas, and the whole of Mindanao).

Interpreting surveys

Surveys are information guide. Taken now. A snapshot of time.

Reflective of data from a sample that may be representative of the sentiment of the population depending on whether the sampling process was appropriately conducted or not.

The results can be interpreted to fit what what one wants to sell.

Let’s not rely too much on surveys to check how the landscape of the political climate in the country is evolving. The better indicator is our moral compass.

It is barely 7 months into the midterm election.  We need to focus on the ball.  Those numbers, remain unreliable until the final candidates are announced.  Remember, it is not the opinion alone that matters.  It is going to the polls and showing that there is strength in your vote that will change the landscape of politics.

Our votes are the only opinions that count.


When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder stay around the people who don’t.

It’s unfortunate that there are those who undermine freedom of expression so casually by posting fake stories or simply just thoughtlessly lying. Oftentimes, it’s like tiptoeing on eggshells when you’re reading the comments section. Sadly, it’s obvious that there are simply “paid” trolls who provide no opinion at all except some hard core, brainless bashing.

More often than not, it’s hard to look the other way at what’s happening in social media today. The politicking at a level unheard of in the past decade has escalated to the point of having to deal with inutiles.

When you see posts that get advertised for the wrong purpose, one cannot help but be incensed at how callous these lowlife people get.

It’s not about being with one side of the political spectrum that’s disillusioning. It’s the fact that whoever even owns these troll farms should be held accountable for sowing disinformation, particularly to the gullible.

Political survival is a difficult conflict to manage. The interest of the nation should always be at the forefront of every government personnel and official. Especially those that hold critical positions in government. When vested interests supervenes for the sake of surviving a political conflict, these officials should be prosecuted for being traitors to the nation.

What is most disappointing are the silent ones. They refuse to be caught in the fray or make a stand because of a variety of reasons, including personal ones. As Desmond Tutu points out

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

Silence in the midst of impunity is tantamount to being complicit with injustice.

You cannot fight the battle only when the war is in your backyard. Because you were silent and just watching when the war was being fought in my backyard, now that your house is burning, would you expect me to sympathize with you and fight the same battle you so unwittingly didn’t care to lift a finger to help me fight?

When democracy is demonized and truth replaced with lies, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Because all we wanted to do was to silently survive with evil when we wined and danced with the devil.

Lies & the liars

People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.

And that’s the problem today. There’s so much lies being peddled around.

They say that senile dementia has set in with the 95 year old politician who lied about the peachy years during the Marcos Martial Law. I beg to disagree. While mental deterioration in the elderly is a normal phenomenon, there is a clear difference between lying and dementia. His pronouncement is not only disgusting but outrageous as well.

The only people who are mad at you for speaking the truth are those who are living a lie.

He benefitted from the ouster of a dictator. He slept with the political foes and friends. He and his family has amassed wealth out of his existence in politics. It is a shame that there are fools who even believe his pronouncements that no one was ever killed during the Martial Law years.

Denying the truth does not change the facts. And history can never be rewritten to benefit a few.

As a people, the actions of politicians who twist the truth is tantamount to betraying a nation.

We will never change what we tolerate.

There is a need to recalibrate our moral compass if we are to survive as a nation.

And this old man is not the only liar in our midst.


In the poetry of Nikita Gill, she writes in Tiny Stories part I…

Many things in our lives very nearly happen.  We almost made it in the last licensure exam.  We almost reached a million pesos in sales.  We almost hit the lotto. When we come very close to almost achieving our dream, and don’t make it, we end up being disappointed.

Because what was almost, did not happen.

There was the planning, the audition or preparation, the test, the anxiety and day dreaming, and then when it feels like it is within our grasp…we lose grip. And almost becomes a difficult word to swallow.

It is human to want. And human to feel despair, particularly when what you longed for never happened. Because almost felt palpably close to achievement.

And when everything ends abruptly, almost feels like an empty shell.

She doesn’t live here anymore

Ever since he passed away, I took care of her.

I think that is my purpose in life.

I saw the signs.

At first she couldn’t remember things. Or the medications she’s on.  It was mixed with difficulty in trying to say what needed to be said.  She rarely forgot those simple words.  One day, it just escaped her.  The little lapses – it’s 9PM and she thought it was morning, or she needed to go to the toilet but didn’t know where it was when it’s right near her bed, or she had problems in handling money.  There were days when I’d tell her than she can’t be spending things left and right.  She’d look at me and ask, “what things”? And then there were those changes in mood and behaviour.  Cranky all the time.  Or simply staring into space.

Everyone else thought that ageing had just caught up with her.

I had taken her to the doctor. When the doctor gave the diagnosis, I knew my world would be different. I pored through all the information I could get hold on to.

Until some things dramatically changed.  She began to forget more often and now had more difficulty orienting to time and place. There would be days that she would stare at me and ask who I am. Her hygiene began to take a downhill course and when I would home from work, the household help would complain on her mood and behaviour.  Late one night, someone knocked on our front door.  She was found wandering at the neighbourhood convenience store in her nightgown barefoot buying a pack of cigarettes.  On the car ride home, she looked at me and said, “your father was left in the store”.

Like a jilted lover who had grown tired and weary of the relationship, we just drifted apart.

I knew then that she didn’t live here anymore.

And it would be a long goodbye.

Many of us have come across similar stories of family and friends whose loved ones have dementia.  Alzheimer’s is one form of dementia.

A person with dementia has difficulty with two of the following:

  • memory
  • communication and speech
  • focus and concentration
  • reasoning and judgement
  • visual perception (unable to tell the difference in colours or detect movement or sees things that are not there)

Various conditions can give rise to dementia – as part of the ageing process OR medications like narcotics, anti-anxiety pills, anti-epileptics, antipsychotics, to name a few.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Is the most common type of dementia.

While it is more commonly seen in the elderly, early onset Alzheimer’s is not uncommon. Early onset AD is usually familial and accounts for half of the early onset patients.

It is progressive.  Meaning it gets worse over time. Memory loss may initially be mild, but symptoms worsen over time. It gets more difficult to carry on conversations or daily activities. Then there is the confusion.  Even they become bewildered at where they are and in the confusion, become angry and the mood changes escalate.

Let’s be clear about this.  Alzheimer’s Disease is not a normal part of ageing. 

AD worsens over time. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years from the time of diagnosis (survival range is 4 – 20 years depending on age and other health conditions).

There is currently no cure but treatment for symptoms are available and extensive research in the past years has made some progress.  While treatment options CANNOT stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, it can temporarily slow down the the worsening of symptoms of dementia and improve the quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

“There is much pain to endure when watching a loved one suffer with Alzheimer’s Disease.  There is the pain of perpetual grief.  There is the raw wound of continual loss.  There is the struggle to preserve dignity and the desire to respect the present but cling to the past.  In the midst of the heartache there is a small glimmer of light that exists to remind us of the things that Alzheimer’s cannot take away – the warmth of a touch, the importance of smiles and laughter, and the knowledge of what it truly means to experience unconditional love and acceptance.”

For more information on what AD is, http://www.alz.org is a good reference site.

(The story above is a fictional one.  But it can happen to anyone of us.)