It’s a real shock when people get told that they’ve got a brain disease. Especially an incurable, degenerating condition which they know will only end up getting worse over time. I think that one of my roles is to take some positives and focus on what it is that we can achieve, what this disease really means for you, your loved ones and really how it can help.
The fact that matter is that there’s good news in some of these diagnoses. The truth is that degenerative diseases of the brain are usually slow. Now contrast that with something like brain cancer when someone has a brain tumor that’s usually a very aggressive disease and the prognosis can sometimes be counted in months. With diseases of the brain where cells are dying that’s a slow process. We often think that actually the disease has been going on for several years before you even come to see a specialist and that’s probably how the disease will go for you, regardless of what its cause is. So, whether this is Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or one of the other diseases that you’ll find on this website, you’ll realise that the emphasis is that the disease is traveling slowly. This means most of the time we should be able to tell you what to expect, what treatments there are, what benefits you’ll get and what challenges you will face – and I think that’s an important step for us to realise.