Every time I see some fucking sharticle postulating how a person can prevent dementia by “exercising their brain,” I want to reach through the computer and punch the living fuck out of whatever fuckwit is wasting people’s time with this shit.
I took care of the elderly, including a large number of them who had dementia, for approximately 25 years. The facility I worked in for 11 years was near a university, and many of the people who ended up there had been COLLEGE PROFESSORS. One of them wrote a book about her experiences as a feminist and activist. Every day when I’d go in to help her get dressed, she would say to me: “I feel stupid.” I always told her that she wasn’t stupid at all, she had an illness that was making her confused. It was heartbreaking.
My father was a college professor. He had vascular dementia rather than a disease such as Alzheimer’s or Lewy Body Dementia, but, nonetheless, all his years of studying and teaching did not prevent him from getting dementia.
A couple of the more unique pieces postulated that a) smelling methane can help stave off dementia, and b) smelling wine can help stave off dementia. So, I figure if I eat a lot of beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower and wash it down with a glass of wine, I ought to be protected from dementia. Also from having people come anywhere within 1000 feet of me.
In recent years, several very talented musicians have succumbed to dementia.
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Glen Campbell not only wrote iconic songs, but he also had his own television show. Even after dementia had started severely affecting him, his intelligence and fighting spirit shone through. “I’ll Be Me”, the film documentary about his last tour reveals not only his struggle with Alzheimer’s but his strength of character. If anyone should have been able to avoid dementia by using his brain, Glen Campbell would be right up there.
David Cassidy was far more intelligent and insightful than people tended to give him credit for. His sometimes erratic behavior was due to feeling like he didn’t really fit in and that he wasn’t being heard. It is sad to know that he seems to have felt that his life was a series of mistakes. If anything, this very bright man used his mind perhaps too much.
Malcolm Young was not only musically talented, but he was also mechanically inclined. He worked as a machinist when he was in his teens. He enjoyed renovating things. The reason his band became an entirely different entity even though he was replaced by a relative (his nephew) who had learned some of his styles from the original is that Malcolm took his guitars apart and rearranged the components so they sounded like he wanted them to. This hardly sounds like someone who was sitting there letting his brain idle. If anything, Malcolm seems to have overthought things.
Dementia in its various forms tends to be genetic. Working puzzles may make a person faster at solving problems. It won’t stave off dementia if the trigger for dementia is activated in a person’s DNA.
I’ve lost several people in my own life to dementia. Junk “science” proclaiming that dementia can be prevented by “using your brain” really grinds my gears when people whose livelihood depends on “using your brain” succumb to the disease too.
~The Cheese Hath Grated It~
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