welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, January 8, 2021

alzheimers news-cousins


each day i get several news feeds that send me articles on alzheimers disease
i also receive notices when certain alzheimers blogs or alzheimers websites or nih post things about azlheimers disease

one feed this morning was from the alzheimers society from canada
its their version of the alzheimers association here in the us

in the video linked here and below a daughter is discussing her mom having alzheimers disease
its a four part video post

as i watched the video i realized i was tearing up
i began to think about my mother and her journey with alzheimers disease
my younger brothers journey with the disease
it my thinking put me in that video
wondering what i would be like when its my time and how my family will deal with it

i wonder if others have thought about this 
did they not know what was really happening to them
am i just more acutely aware since i was diagnosed so early in the disease process
i wish i didnt know
usually i am glad that i know whats coming

this morning after watching this video and another one and after wiping the tears from my eyes
i began too think about my cousins
most i havent seen in years
some im linked to now on facebook 

yesterday i was explaining to my wife she who a particular cousin was and how i was kin to her
i thought of this this morning
my brain thought about all my cousins and aunts and uncles

my historian brother has done extensive ancestry work on our relatives
he found death certificates newspaper articles military records census records etc to put together their stories and history 

there is not much medical history in this information
after my mom and then my brother then i was diagnosed i became more interested in whether there was dementia in my parents family tree
my dad wasnt diagnosed officially but looking back im sure he had it when he died

so i asked my older siblings who knew my uncles and aunts and grandparents and even one great grandparent better than i did

here is what i found
my maternal grandmother had dementia as did her father
my paternal grandmother had dementia as i remember visiting her in a nursing home when i was 18
all of my mothers 5 siblings died with dementia
at least two of my dads siblings died with dementia
his other two siblings i am not sure of since we lost contact with then over the years

then my cousins
at least five of them had alzheimers disease
many of them i have lost contact with 

when i looked at this family tree when i drew it out and circled the ones with alzheimers or dementia
it was sobering

why did our family get so much of it

my theory is since i know i have the apoe 4 double version for the late onset gene
another younger relative also has this same double version
my guess is that its related to apoe 4 gene
not proven but that probably why 

what does that mean 
well if you are genetically kin to me you may have at least one apoe 4 gene
one apoe 4 gene gives you a 5 times increased chance of developing alzheimers
two copies of the apoe 4 gene gives you up to a 20 times increased chance of getting alzheimers 

25% of americans have the single apoe 4 gene
less than 1% have the double apoe 4 gene like i do

having the gene doesnt mean you will get alzheimers it means you are at a higher risk
how well you live your life determines what affect it may have on you

the apoe 4 gene affects cholesterol

so i know in my family that high blood pressure and high cholesterol runs in the family 
im sure those aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents had the same issue

my younger brother was diagnosed in his 50s
a first cousin was also diagnosed in her 50s

the other risk factors i know some had were
some but not all were overweight
the part of the state where many of these people live do have pollution problems over the years
mostly from the oil industry and its related industries

my guess is it may be the apoe 4 gene or some other genetic abnormality not yet discovered

what can you do if you are kin to me
you cant change any genetics

dont smoke
control your cholesterol and blood pressure and glucose 
maintain a normal weight
live an active physical live as well as stay active mentally and socially 
avoid stress
treat any depression or anxiety
maintain good sleep habitats
try to be happy 
avoid medications known to affect ones long term memory
if you notice memory issues seek out help early on  

these are the things all of us should be doing anyway to stay healthy

be safe and be healthy 
hug and appreciate your family while you can

the organicgreen doctor


  1. Dewayne, thank you for the information. I am glad you are pursuing health and peace in your journey. I read just this week a comment that said "God gives the biggest battles to his greatest soldiers." I can not relate to your situation, but feel it is very good for you and others the work, study, and devotion you continue to give. You've taken your situation and helped others I am sure in so many ways. I am grateful to see you still striving and dedicating to the oath you took as a physician. Keep on keeping on. My prayers for you and your family always. Cheryl Watson Musticchi