A Long Journey with Alzheimer’s Disease: Who Are You?

When you grow old, your black hair slowly turned to slivery white, and youth started to slip away from you as it never existed. Being old is always a fearful progress in your life journey. This is perfectly normal, because there are still people who love you and who you love, they are always in your heart. But one day when you wake up, figures casually appears in front of your eyes. You could only gaze and stare into the blankness, trying to sort things out right. At last all you managed to say is: “Who are you?”. Alzheimer’s disease, also called AD, is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. AD is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who found this disease. (NIH 2017 May 16th) Alzheimer’s Disease is a serious issue that must be researched in China, because it’s getting more and more common, and this disease still has no cure. Some people say AD will not affect China in future, because it’s effect is not yet seen from the surface.

 

Currently, Alzheimer’s Disease is getting more common in China and the disease population is still raptly increasing. “The prevalence of AD in China has been found between 0.7% to 6.6% in individuals, meaning in a thousand people there could be 7~66 patient.” (Li 2018 Nov) This is very high. “Out of a survey of 130 people from variety ages, 30% claimed they know someone/has a family member of AD.” (Zhou 2019 May) Research strongly suggests larger percentage population in world will suffer from this disease, and it’s unstoppable. There’s more cases of Alzheimer’s in China than any other country (Alzheimer research UK 2013 June 6th), so AD became a common problem among Chinese population older than 65 years. This disease would also cause variety of issues and economic problems in future. In USA it’s already estimated $100 billion for the cost of AD in total. (Xiao) With AD patient around, families will need to bear more suffer. Police station will need to take care more cases of AD patients getting lost. China will definitely face this challenge economically and socially in future as AD patient continue increases as AD’s popularity increases.

 

In addition, Alzheimer’s Disease still has no cure since founded. US only approved 2 types of medications: Namenda and N-methyl Dasparate (NIH 2018 April 1st) out to use, and medication can only temporarily reduce the symptoms. Family support could help, but overall it doesn’t work very well. (NHS 2018 Oct 5th) China does not provide free medical insurance for AD, meaning you have to pay this disease for yourself, unlike some other diseases that are given somewhat subsidize. Going through AD is a long process with heavy costs, which means some families can’t afford, they might give up on the patient/don’t provide medical treatment (which patient gets worse quicker). There’s 0% chance surviving rate with AD, (Alzheimer Association 2019) but patient’s remaining life time is not low, usually in an average of 4.1 years. (Helzner 2008 Nov 4) Patients die slowly because the loss of their sense and minds, also with complications. This is a long time while patient needs get through and be cared, and elderlies’ life quality will definitely recede from view. On so many internal/ local websites, reports of “Alzheimer cure is already founded” are all over the place, trying to make us believe, benumb our minds, trying to give us unrealistic hopes. But the fact is, since 1906 when Alzheimer has been found, until 2019, throughout this 113 years of history, there is still no cure. There are ways to prevent Alzheimer, but there is absolute no cure yet. Few medicines could have a chance that might work, but there’s still no official effective method, or in another words: the actual cure.

 

Some people say AD will not affect China in future, which this is not an issue we should be worried about. But in fact, there’s absolutely ZERO reliable information about AD impact on China government websites anywhere. (Zhou 2019 May) People know less, of course people care less, think less. China’s research among AD is very unnoticeable. AD is already the third costliest disease in US after cancer and heart disease. And this is the data from 1998. “The annual costs of AD were already estimated from 80-100 billion in US, which includes direct, indirect and intangible costs.” (Zhu 2006 Jun) USA is already under the economic threat of AD, US medication association from government previously announced they are under pressure of providing free care for AD patients. On the other hand, China announced NO reliable research/statistics about AD impact, all the costs estimated are variably different. It’s very clear that the cost of AD in China is not less than US because of China’s large population groups, and AD will definitely affect China’s future economy wise, social wise, and it will only push threat on elderlies’ heath.

 

In conclusion, Alzheimer’s Disease is a serious issue that must be researched in China. If not, more and more elderlies will suffer from this disease, along with their families. The life expectancy and living quality for old people will only decrease, the research also indicates a huge economic impact is coming on the way. Clearly, what China is doing is not enough. No reliable articles are found if citizens want to research about AD. China contributed not so many useful progress. If you want to live healthy for the rest of your life; if you don’t want to worry about your parent’s health when you are still struggling with your job/work; if you don’t want to experience extreme mental pressure: More of Alzheimer’s Disease research needs start in China now, right in this moment.

 

Citations:

“How Is Alzheimer’s Disease Treated?” NIH, 1 Apr. 2018, www.nia.nih.gov/health/
how-alzheimers-disease-treated.

“Inside the Brain- a Tour of How the Mind Works.” Alzheimer’s Association, 2018,
www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers/brain_tour.

Li, Kanglan, et al. “The Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease in China: A
Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” NCBI, Nov. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
pmc/articles/PMC6294855/.

“Treatment – Alzheimer’s Disease Contents.” NHS, 5 Oct. 2018, www.nhs.uk/
conditions/alzheimers-disease/treatment/.

“More Cases of Alzheimer’s in China than Any Other Country.” Alzheimer’s
Research UK, www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/
more-cases-of-alzheimers-in-china-than-any-other-country/.

Zhu, Carolyn W., and Mary Sano. “Economic Considerations in the Management of
Alzheimer’s Disease.” NCBI, June 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/
PMC2695165/.

Helzner, E. P. “Survival in Alzheimer Disease.” NCBI, 4 Nov. 2008,
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2843528/.

Zhou, Jasmine. “Alzheimer’s Disease Survey Form.” Microsoft Forms, May 2019,
     forms.office.com/Pages/
     ResponsePage.aspx?id=mg0rwMPcY0mWYd9SbtulfladndV2vxhOl9NmGDjNE2FUMjhYUU5MTDdBTzhF
     T1FDUk43R1kyUTRYTC4u.

An Ancient Town

  • List three things you learned during the two train rides (not necessarily about the train).

Three things I learned was you can directly reach PingYao from Beijing by train, the whole train ride was convenient and smooth, also it only took around 3 hours to the destination.

 

  • What are two things you learned by the end of this trip?

I learned it was fun to spend time with friends out of school, and Pingyao’s cultural, community, and history background.

 

  • What were the successful aspects of the Pingyao Challenge for your group?

Our group planned the routine out before we started, which is a main reason why our group won the first place. Also, we moved fast, and didn’t stop and get distracted by other things.

 

  • The funniest moment on the trip was

Before going on the train, I ordered Starbucks but then forgot to pay. The cashier stopped me before I walked away.

 

  • What was the most challenging aspect of the trip? How did you deal with this challenge?

My challenge was I didn’t really have friends in my hotel group, so I felt lonely at the beginning. But later on I hanged out with Renee and Grace, which pulled our relationships a bit closer, also we enjoyed the time spent playing cards.

 

  • · Describe the most memorable experience you had in Pingyao.

My most memorable experience was the time spent on the train. I really had fun with my friends, and I will forever remember this precious journey.

 

  • What recommendations would you make for the trip next year?

I would like to change the hotels a little, because my room was a wedding room, which felt a little bit weird…? Also the bathroom was really small, a little bit crowded.

Behind Pretty

A world where everyone’s ugly. And then they’re not. Scott Westerfeld is the author of this book, Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras are the New York Times bestselling series. Do you ever wonder what could hide under beautiful covers? There are always secrets and sacrifices. In the novel, Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she’s desperately wanting to turn from repellent ugly into a stunning pretty, then all she need is to have fun. But her friend Shay ran away because she doesn’t want to become pretty. On the way to find Shay, Tally discovered the true secrets about turning pretty… Not very pretty.

When you glaze at the bright stars, Tally is one of the sparkle ones. When Shay was going to leave the city and go to the Smoke, Tally persuaded so hard for her to stay, she attaches importance into friendship. Even when Special Circumstances forced Tally to betray the Smoke, or else she’s not getting her wish – be pretty, she still set foot on her journey. She followed her dream on life-changing conflicts. When she reached the smoke and decided to stay, this is flexibility. After the Smokies got captured Tally and David still risked their life to save them even all the Smokies already hated them; this is trustworthy. When Maddy found the uncertain cure, Tally immediately decided she will be the willing subject; this is courage. Tally is a brave girl who always want to find out the actual truth. She’s never afraid of conflicts and risks, carless about losing everything, willing to try things that might sacrifice herself. David fell in love of her because of her personality, not physical appearance. Shay treasures her friendship with Tally because of her pure heart. The Smokies respect Tally because she showed in-depth determination to find what is really wrong of being pretty, and what’s really wrong with herself and the world around her.

Secrets are always hidden under beautiful covers. In this book, Special Circumstances took full control of New Pretty Town and Uglyville. Each child would receive an operation when they reach sixteen to turn to attractive pretties, and this was always a dream for all the Uglies. In the city, Pretties could have as much fun as they like, no rules and no expectations lay ahead of them, anything can come out from magic walls in the city to meet Pretties’ needs. Every citizen is required to wear an interface ring – not only to bring in personal demands, but also to let government track where everyone is. The main character Tally desperately wanted to turn pretty. She played all kinds of tricks to try to sneak in New Pretty Town, staring out through her window imagining what it would feel like to be beautiful. Until, she met Shay. Shay doesn’t want to become pretty. She was confident with her face and her future, Shay decided to leave this under-control city and go to a place called the Smoke, where everyone’s ugly for their whole life. No one knew if this place actually exists or not, only rumors in Uglyville says previously a few Uglies also escaped. Still longing to turn pretty, Tally stayed, but Special Circumstances demanded Tally to find Shay and the Smoke otherwise they won’t give Tally the operation forever, which meant Tally would need to betray her friend. [“And I didn’t go with her, because I just… wanted… to be pretty!” – (Westerfeld, 127)] When Tally finally reached the Smoke unwillingly, she changed her mind and wanted to stay. Tally made new friends with Croy and David, she also learnt David is a pre-rusty, he was born in the Smoke and never went to a city before. This is also when Tally fully understood what turning pretty truly means after a conversation with David’s parents. [“I found that there were complications from the anesthetic used in the operation. Tiny lesions in the brain. Barely visible, even with the best machines.” – (Westerfeld, 250)] It turns out turning pretty is just an excuse for the operation, what operation really does is it changes your mind, making you rely on this city and Special Circumstances, no other thoughts except for enjoying in New Pretty Town. David’s parents have been studying this lesion for their whole life. They used to work with Special Circumstances until they realized the actual truth, so they ran away and transformed themselves back to ugly. [David lowered his voice. “Maybe they didn’t want you to realize that every civilization has its weakness. There’s always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away, all that’s left is some story in a history class. – (Westerfeld, 330)] Special Circumstances does not want people to know their weakness, they prefer it better as a secret. What actually had the operation done to you was also a… Beautiful secret.

This dystopian fiction is very similar to our now society in some countries. There are many governments in world now who still put lies on their own people to control their thoughts, try to cover up previous ugly truths. They do not teach specifically histories in school. They fake history to make their leader look great. Websites are band immediately if it contains reactionary speech/telling the truth. Citizens are not allowed to speak ill of government leaders. If caught, the punishment is imprisoning. There is no freedom of speech, government decides everything. You cannot learn any “real” history on that country’s local websites. Although previous government leaders did something wrong himself and caused harm, he’s still the “hero” and kept away from blame. The government wants you to live in fantastic bubbles that feels like to be a prefect society, but most of the secrets are hidden forever. Do you really know everything about this world? Or perhaps just a tip of the iceberg?