This disease affects more than one million people in France and more than 30 million worldwide. However, there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which is World Day on Wednesday. For patients, as for their loved ones, we have to deal with the consequences of this neurodegenerative disease: repeated forgetfulness, orientation problems, executive function disorders (planning, organizing, ordering in time, having abstract thoughts) or language disorders. At 79, Gisèle supports her husband François on a daily basis.
A disease first described in 1906
With patience and courage, Gisèle helps her husband François, who has Alzheimer’s disease, even though she recognizes that the “beginnings were difficult”. Her husband admits to being “unable to give the dates of birth of his children”. “I’ll give you the age, sometimes I don’t remember their first name, it’s not easy,” he says. François says he is disoriented to see his wife take care of everything. “She has a lot to do,” he observes. “I recognize that I manage absolutely everything, everything related to the house”, continues Gisèle. The man still manages to go to the market and do the shopping, with “a precise list”.
Described for the first time in 1906 by the German doctor Alois Alzheimer, this “neurodegenerative” disease leads to a progressive deterioration of cognitive abilities leading to a loss of autonomy for the patient.
“We live on”
“All the same, once, I lost you”, throws Gisèle to him who remembers this painful moment. “I got in touch very quickly with the France Alzheimer association. The association organizes discussion groups. The psychologist, who is with us, also gives us keys to get out of it. But it’s true that that hurts a lot to see her husband diminished,” she whispers. “I don’t do too many long-term projects. I try to continue to go to the theater, to the cinema. We continue to live,” she testifies.
The number of people affected is expected to triple by 2050
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 55 million people in the world suffer from dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most widespread form: the latter accounts for 60 to 70% of cases of dementia. dementia, i.e. more than 30 million sufferers. The number of people affected is expected to triple by 2050, due to an increase in cases in low- and middle-income countries, according to the WHO.