Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Early Onset Alzheimers

Rory Dillon

*For the record, sarcasm font.


Alzheimer’s has been plaguing the world for years and Terra Linda is hardly immune. Almost everybody has a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with this degenerative neurological disease. One student here at Terra Linda, freshman James Harris, recently found out that he is predisposed to the illness because his grandfather was diagnosed with Stage Five Synapse Retrogenesis, a stage of Alzheimer’s in which the amount of brain synapses, or connections, decrease in number and deposits of plaque build up. This stage marks the start of cognitive degeneration, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

“I fear that my grandfather’s condition is already, like, inside of me. I can’t function properly anymore. It’s terrible. I failed my math final.” says James. “I know that it’s hard on my family, but it’s not like I can remember my episodes.”

The news always comes as a shock to those with Alzheimer’s. James did not believe it at first, and took it as a joke.

“The doctors told me it was because I kept drinking Monster Energy, and I’m like, you’re the monster!” James says.

Originally, Alzheimers was attributed to develop only in those who have aged to become elderly. However, the federal CDC has changed its definition to include an “aging or medical issue.” As this case demonstrates, it can affect people of all ages.

“I hate it when you forget what class you have. Or how to do math. Or what my name is. I actually have no idea what I’m doing some of the time.” reports James.

James’s family is truly supportive, and has been helping him through his hard times ever since his first CAT Scan.

“They are really patient with me, and I respect them so much for that,” says James. “It’s not like I’m going to lose who I am anytime soon, but even so, you know. It’s just kind that they’re already preparing for what is to come years down the road. I accept my fate with honor.”

James asked that help for victims and friends should be included. To those who need to find solace, go to www.alz.org.