Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Terry Pratchett: I'm slipping away a bit at a time... and all I can do is watch it happen | Mail Online

Author Terry Pratchett writes about his experiences with PCA alzheimer's with moving frankness. Because his rare form of Alzheimer's largely focuses on the loss of physical skills, he remains articulate and reasoned in his view. He strikes an important blow for cognitive accuracy in facing the world as it is and not as we wish it could be.

It is a strange life when you ‘come out’. People get embarrassed, lower their voices, get lost for words. Part of the report I’m helping to launch today reveals that 50 per cent of Britons think there is a stigma surrounding dementia. Only 25 per cent think there is still a stigma associated with cancer.

The stories in the report - of people being told they were too young or intelligent to have dementia; of neighbours crossing the street and friends abandoning them - are like something from a horror novel.

We can't find a cure for something we are afraid to talk about, right?

Pratchett's article seems to me like it could come straight out of a coursebook on cognitive accuracy:
What is needed is will and determination. The first step is to talk openly about dementia because it’s a fact, well enshrined in folklore, that if we are to kill the demon then first we have to say its name.

Pratchett has given $1 million pounds to help push research on Alzheimer's forward, and to break through the superstitious prejudice that most people still feel about this very physical disease.

To see the full report, Dementia: Out Of The Shadows go to www.alzheimers.org.uk, or the Alzheimer’s Research Trust www.alzheimers-research.org.uk

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