With hopes of bringing more attention to the neurodegenerative disease, North Carolina prog-metal band The Reticent’s recently released a concept album, The Oubliette, that tells the tale of man's battle with Alzheimer's.
The Oubliette — available on Heaven & Hell Records — follows the journey of an old man named Henry that’s based upon a relative of songwriter and The Reticent lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hathcock. It demonstrates Henry’s descent through the seven stages of Alzheimer’s, as the disease takes his memories and then his ability to speak, walk and eventually breathe.
“I hope that The Oubliette will provide listeners with a rich and emotionally challenging audio experience,” Hathcock said in a media release. “The hope is that listeners will be personally affected by the music on a deep level and that it may draw some attention to a disease that is frighteningly prominent but frequently poorly understood.
“There will be moments that are soothing and there will be moments that are overwhelming. The story I have to tell is not a happy one but it is an important one - and it is often through the pain that we find the most profound reflection and calls to action.”
Alzheimer's is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Symptoms for late-onset Alzheimer’s generally first appear as people reach their mid-60s.
A person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis on average, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors. Changes in the brain related to Alzheimer's begin years before any signs of the disease.
There's currently no cure for Alzheimer's, but medications are available that can temporarily reduce the symptoms.
“I encourage all listeners to support any Alzheimer's research organizations such as the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation and the Alzheimer's Association, as well as organizations that are actively working to improve the lives of patients such as the Alive Inside Foundation,” Hathcock said in an email to Samaritanmag. “When shows return, we intend to resume our benefit shows for these organizations.”
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation provides millions of dollars for novel Alzheimer’s research primarily conducted by the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard’s team of more than 45 scientists at the Fisher Center lab at The Rockefeller University in New York City, plus other research institutes around the world.
The Alzheimer's Association is a voluntary health organization involved with Alzheimer's care, support and research. Its mission is to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.
Alive Inside Foundation connects youth and elders, with and without dementia, by using music and transformational education to ease the pain of dementia and create meaning for all involved.
The foundation’s goals are to: provide music players to one million dementia patients and activate 100,000 volunteers to deliver music by 2025; inspire, educate and coordinate a nationwide support network of mentors, teachers and caregivers; create a curriculum that teaches students through connection with elders; and create and perfect technology to aid those living with cognitive decline.Sneakers