Think dementia is what happens when you get old? Think again. This one strikes in your prime.
A benefit is being held for Tammi Wilson, a local young woman whom specialists believe has Pick’s disease – a progressive, degenerative brain disease that gradually destroys one’s ability to behave appropriately, empathize with others, learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities.
Pick’s disease is one of a family of diseases known as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). While rare, accounting for only between one and five per cent of all dementias, it is the most common cause of early-onset dementia in people under 60 years of age.
Pick’s disease usually begins after age 40; neither the cause nor cure for Pick’s disease is known.
The outcome for people with FTD is poor. The disease progresses steadily and often rapidly, ranging from less than two years in some individuals to more than ten years in others.
Depending on the symptoms and severity of the disease, the patient may need monitoring and help with personal hygiene and self-care. Eventually, there may be a need for 24-hour care and monitoring at home or in a special facility.
More information about Pick’s diseaseis available online from the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration at www.theaftd.org and from the UBC Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at http://cmmt.ubc.ca/research/ diseases/dementia.
A benefit is being organized by Tammi’s friends on Sept. 14 from 4 to 10 p.m. at Lion’s Park in Greenwood to help raise funds for her care.
There will be live music, a beer garden, barbecue and auction. Admission is by donation.
Donations can be made for Tammi Wilson at the Heritage Credit Union in Greenwood.