You start forgetting minor things, and after some time even the face of your loved ones becomes unfamiliar. Alzheimer’s disease affects memory and cognitive functions, seriously impairing a patient’s ability to think and talk. Other usual symptoms are confusion, disorientation to time and space, sudden mood changes. Its effects on the lives of patients and their families are devastating.
100 years after the German Alois Alzheimer described the first case in 1907, this disease is still a scientific enigma, despite all current research efforts. The typical lesions found in the microscopic brain structure of Alzheimer’s patients are well known, but their causes have not been fully understood yet.
The Enigma Alzheimer shows a number of research works currently under way in Germany, Canada and the United States, aimed at gaining a better understanding of the nature of this disease and, above all, at finding an effective treatment for it. The documentary features contributions by Alzheimer’s patients and their doctors.
Special emphasis is placed on the story of a young woman, Martina Peters, who started showing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s before she was 40. With her dynamic lifestyle, which includes reading and playing chess, Martina epitomizes what is regarded as both a major therapy and a prevention tool: constant brain exercise and mental stimulation.