Updated: Jan 5

Welcome everybody to the next entry of The Rainbow We Fly Over! This series will acknowledge the many-colored ribbons dedicated to mental health awareness. 

Again, thank you all who have continuously read, especially with everything going on. I truly value everyone that takes the time out to read my entries! Every reader is greatly appreciated, and there is more to come!

As the month of June recently came to a close, I would love to acknowledge the other awareness that blessed these recent 30 days. June is not only the home of National PTSD Awareness Month but also Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and its corresponding purple ribbon! Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that causes multitudes of brain cells to perish. With a diminishing population of brain cells, Alzheimer’s often affects the thinking, behavioral, social, and executive functioning that can disrupt overall role functioning*. This particular disease is often the cause of dementia, a chronic disorder caused by disease or injury that results in loss of memory, personality changes, and other impaired functions. Researchers have conducted studies and found that Alzheimer’s disease is four to ten times more likely in people who have a family member with the disease compared to those that do not. This genetic mutation that caused this disease is commonly found in the mother’s gene that passed onto her children. Additionally, researchers have also conducted studies to examine the relationship between Alzheimer’s and overall diet. It was found that those who had a Mediterranean style diet were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to those who had a Western diet. The Mediterranean diet consists of fish, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and primarily plant-based that provide antioxidant nutrients that protect the brain from damage. Yet, the Western diet has refined sugar, red meat, and saturated fats that are known to do extreme damage, if they are not eaten in moderation. In actuality, these foods create beta-amyloid deposits which are known to be collective plaques within the brain that negatively affects neurons and cell-to-cell communication. I took the initiative to include a very broad list of potential warning signs from the First Choice Neurology website, I will include the link on the bottom of this entry. 

  1. Memory Loss

  2. Confusion

  3. Problem-solving

  4. Misplacing things

  5. Withdrawal

  6. Personality changes (my clinical neuropsychology course at my university actually informed me that personality changes are notably one of the first signs even before memory loss)

  7. Poor judgment

  8. Trouble with talking and writing

  9. Vision problems 

According to the First Choice Neurology website, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias around the world, and every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Though risk factors can contribute to an increased likelihood of this disease occurring, anyone with a brain can potentially develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of brain ailments. The brain is truly the powerhouse headquarters of the human body. Every emotion, action, thought, and more comes from our flexible brains. Which is why this month of June specifically hones in on Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness. The complexities of this disease and others similar to it need to cause an immediate demand for increased attention. With increasing research, early screening and detection, and reducing risk factors, we can find ways to delay the effects of this disease on not only ourselves and loved ones, but also the overall public. In actuality, I have found information about this disease and others while doing research to draft the very entry y’all are reading right now. I have linked a few resources I highly recommend to either spread awareness, expand knowledge, or initiate conversations that I used in order to conduct my own research. 

Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350447#:~:text=Alzheimer's%20disease%20is%20a%20progressive,person's%20ability%20to%20function%20independently.

Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/abam/overview.asp

First Choice Neurology: https://www.fcneurology.net/june-is-alzheimers-and-brain-awareness-month/

Alz Cottages: https://www.alzcottages.com/blog/alzheimers-and-brain-awareness-month-faqs-about-alzheimers/

Senior Lifestyle: https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/alzheimers-brain-awareness-month/

*Role functioning is described as the performance of everyday activities within family, school, peer, and other settings. 


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