The best part of my job is sometimes the saddest. Sometimes when you find a gem it’s beauty is momentarily obscured by the rubble that surrounds it. I found this short film and was deeply moved. I offer it as an example of fine work on an extremely difficult subject.
“My Name is Lisa” is a short film about Alzheimer’s Disease, which is one of many serious and devastating diseases still without a cure. Alzheimer’s causes gradual memory loss.
This film was made for YouTube’s Project: Direct and it took 3RD PRIZE in the International short film competition
BEST SHORT FILM OF 2007 – YouTube 3RD PRIZE WINNER of PROJECT: DIRECT SEMI-FINALIST IN NOW FILM FESTIVAL
Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as we age. Most of us notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work are not a normal part of ageing. They may be a sign that brain cells are failing.
The brain has 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). Each nerve cell communicates with many others to form networks. nerve cell networks have special jobs. Some are involved in thinking, learning and remembering. Others help us see, hear and smell. Still others tell our muscles when to move.
To do their work, brain cells operate like tiny factories. They take in supplies, generate energy, construct equipment and get rid of waste. Cells also process and store information. Keeping everything running requires coordination as well as large amounts of fuel and oxygen.
In Alzheimer’s disease, parts of the cell’s factory stop running well. Scientists are not sure exactly where the trouble starts. But just like a real factory, backups and breakdowns in one system cause problems in other areas. As damage spreads, cells lose their ability to do their jobs well. Eventually, they die.