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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
On Pluto by Greg O'Brien
On Pluto by Greg O’Brien
Let’s read it together. Ask your librarian if it comes in a oral edition.
It’s not at all what I expected.
These are my notes/thoughts so far.
Introduction written by Lisa Genova of Still Alice fame. They have become the best of friends.
He is many times award winning journalist and writer. Lives on Cape Cod.
What is NMDA, a receptor regulator???
His journey began with a serious head injury that exposed an already proceeding brain shrinkage.
He writes about Glen Campbell Have you listed to I’ll be Me.”
He also writes about Pat Summit. She wrote not to expect a pity party from her.
His maternal grandfather and mother had it, as well as combined with other diseases at the end of his dad’s life.
Greg O’Brien also has cancer which he has chosen not to treat.
We’ve all heard of cognitive reserve. I’ve taken it to mean those with higher IQ’s, thus more in their brain, could stand to lose more than most people and still be fairly with it. His doctors seem to have a different interpretation. Each of us has so much in our brain. We need to conserve it. More like when you use it, you lose what’s there and so like your gas tank, someday it will run dry. I don’t like that interpretation.
The left side of the brain is the most affected. That’s the side for executive function, judgement (I thought they were the same). balance, continence, short term memory, financial analyses and recognition of friends and colleagues. (sounds familiar.) He practices daily exercise and writing. (Two parts of our Best Practices.)
The Pluto metaphor: Pluto’s orbit, like Alzheimer’s has a chaotic orbit.
There’s an old Irish saying: never get mad, get even. That’s what his doing to AD.
He says Ralph Waldo Emerson had AD.
Greg was diagnosed in 2009.
He has the ApoE4
23 mg. Aricept.Remember when that was a big topic here?
20 mg. Namenda
50 mg Trazadome for sleep
20 mg. Celexa to control rage.
Beginning on page 14 there is an interesting discussion :
Once you begin to lose synapse which is the ability of the brain to pass a signal and once neurons are lost, the brain cannot recover. (I don’t understand that. But I wondered about recent research I’d read about that said vigorous exercise rebuilds brain cells.) He then went on to say that exercising the brain builds new dendrites, pathways for alternate routes for synapses. So my question is: is this talking about physical or cognitive exercise, both of which we include in our Best Practices?
Up to Chapter 3. Anyone want to join me?
Or stop, we could care less.