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I have a classmate and friend who is suffering from MS related dementia, very sad situation.

So I’ve been studying up about things that can cause early dementia, and am surprised at a  couple things I found so far.

Too much Television, if you’re watching more than 3.5 hours a day you can experience cognitive decline in your middle years.

Anxiety and Depression, if left untreated can cause lesions on the brain.

Vasectomy, can cause early dementia, prostate cancer and other illnesses.

But by playing board games, video games, guitar, reading or anything that challenges the mind you can keep your brain 🧠 healthy.

Any thoughts on this? It’s a very important topic, I’m sure all of us know someone with a dementia problem. I’d rather have a painful disease then get it.

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Awful stuff, but I was listening to filmmaker/comic/weed connoisseur Seth Rogan speak on this topic, and more than brain exercises, diet, specifically the Keto diet, seems instrumental in sustaining brain agility. Sugar seems to be a particularly harmful substance.
 

I know it seems like an odd source, and his focus is more to Alzheimer sufferers, but he speaks eloquently and logically about the topic, and researchers are using cannabis and MDMA derivatives to try and find keys to unlock some of the secrets to these horrible conditions.

Your friend is indeed on a scary path.

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My brother and I had to move Mom and Dad into a nursing home in January 2015.  There wasn't a day after we moved them that my brother and/or I didn't visit after work.  On Saturday and Sunday morning my son and I would go visit. 

My dad still had all his mental faculties; he was just  falling apart physically and wound up wheelchair bound. My mother had suffered with Alzheimer's for about four or five years before the move.  I say "suffered" but she really didn't suffer.  She was pleasant and sweet right up to her death.  

She quit calling me by name about four years before she died.  She was pretty sure I was her son, she just couldn't remember my name, or anybody else's name for that matter.  She DID remember Dad's name up until about six or eight months before he died in October 2018.  She eventually just started referring to him as "my husband."  After Dad died, and I was at the nursing home to visit, she would point to his empty chair and say, "I don't know where he is."  My brother told me she did the same when he visited.  She died in January 2019.

It was a tough four years, but like I said, she was still Mom right up to the end.

I don't think the condition ever gets better but, rather, progressively worse.  You and your classmate/friend's family and other friends will have to be patient with him.  He will probably enjoy daily visits from family and friends even though he may get to a point where he doesn't recognize anyone. 

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I think dementia is something that affects your mind - but  the real "YOU" is still there.   Your mind is a tool - like a computer.  If it goes haywire,  YOU are still OK.   Sometimes our minds go haywire and we can get them back on track.  Maybe some day 'science' will find a way to fix dementia..   Sort of like having three boilermakers - you don't remember the names of your drinking buddies or where you parked your car (hopefully),   but your 'soul' is still in there in tact.  Wondering when your mind will stop rebelling against reality.   That said, I think I'd rather slip away in my sleep, to spare my family the pain.   As I noted in the similar thread on 'How Do You Want To Go?'.   

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I asked a hockey buddy who was chief of emergency medicine at a world class teaching hospital here in Toronto about the comments made here about mental exercises and brain health.

He told me that there is good evidence that doing puzzles, and mental exercise can stave off dementia for two or three years, but not prevent it from progressing beyond that.

RBSinTo

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4 minutes ago, RBSinTo said:

.

He told me that there is good evidence that doing puzzles, and mental exercise can stave off dementia for two or three years, but not prevent it from progressing beyond that.

RBSinTo

I can argue the unreliability of that since my Grandmother , who read rabidly and often did crossword puzzles( both diagrammed and diagramless) started  signs of dementia in her mid 70's and got progressively worse until her death at age 86.  

Like Mr. Natural's parents, she too would often ask me who I was.  Usually in a way that she needed to be reminded("Who are you again?")  But until her last year she would go in and out of lucid moments.  On her 80th birthday I asked what it was like to reach 80 years of age.  She answered, "I'm tired."  and with a grin added, "I want to go home."  I knew then she meant it as levity. 

But then, I could write paragraphs about my Grandmother, the person in this world and my life I've always loved and admired the most, but this thread isn't about her.  And if she were alive and standing over my shoulder she'd agree that I need to stop now and move on.  [wink]

Whitefang

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I read a few study summaries last year that indicated that engaging in artistic and musical endeavors (later in life) stimulate the critical parts of the brain that keep Alzheimer's at arms length. 

Learning a new musical instrument, painting, sculpting, whatever. 

In short, 
Buying new guitars = a long and coherent life


😬

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Several things contribute to it I guess, It runs in our family genes as well. I have seen relatives  get it and went downhill fast.  I'm not sure what's the big difference between Alzheimers and Dementia? Someone tried to explained that to me decades back.  I have tried to keep my mind busy with the guitar, learning new songs and playing the game of chess.  When I was younger, I could think 3 different positions  up to 13 moves in advance and that was the reason I beat so many expert players but I confess I can't do that anymore.  Nor can I play the solos as I used to if they are complicated. So go figure?  Will all that stop it from happening?  I have short time memory also but remember things long ago. All those things are signs of Dementia.  

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21 hours ago, sparquelito said:

I read a few study summaries last year that indicated that engaging in artistic and musical endeavors (later in life) stimulate the critical parts of the brain that keep Alzheimer's at arms length. 

Learning a new musical instrument, painting, sculpting, whatever. 

In short, 
Buying new guitars = a long and coherent life


😬

My Grandmother too took up painting(I have a couple of her canvases hanging in my house.) and it didn't stop or slow anything. Early on, when she noticed her increasing memory problems, she thought maybe it had something to do with circulation.  Indeed, while looking into this I discovered that it could be a factor, and one of the believed 50+ causes of dementia. And that dementia isn't a disease, but Describes a group of symptoms that result in the problems discussed here.

Whitefang

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I knew a guy who was 90 & he’d sneak down to where I worked to smoke a Cigar everyday.. His wife didn’t think he smoked.. Yeah, right... He lived to be a 100...

I know another Guy who never smoked & died of Lung Cancer at an early age...

Theres so much we don’t know! We think we know, but, do we?

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1 hour ago, Larsongs said:

I knew a guy who was 90 & he’d sneak down to where I worked to smoke a Cigar everyday.. His wife didn’t think he smoked.. Yeah, right... He lived to be a 100...

I know another Guy who never smoked & died of Lung Cancer at an early age...

Theres so much we don’t know! We think we know, but, do we?

Exactly!  A great deal of illness has to do with your family genetic makeup.

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5 hours ago, MissouriPicker said:

Exactly!  A great deal of illness has to do with your family genetic makeup.

That's what I believe also.  My last years at the Union Pacific Railroad, I developed headaches, dizziness,  Nausea and became very sick. I kept going to the UP doctors and they kept saying nothing was wrong with me & I was just wasting their time.  "Go back to work." Then it got so bad that I missed 4 days of work as I couldn't even raise myself in bed. Finally, Deb called a doctor that went to our church so it was way off course from whom my insurance would cover. He ordered an MRI and the results were, I had a brain tumor and it was cancer also. To make a long story short,  The tumor, was the type that only small children got.  I was the first adult on record to get this type.  One of my uncles in California also died from a brain tumor.  Cancer also runs in our family line. I've been cancer free now for 34 years. 

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15 hours ago, Retired said:

That's what I believe also.  My last years at the Union Pacific Railroad, I developed headaches, dizziness,  Nausea and became very sick. I kept going to the UP doctors and they kept saying nothing was wrong with me & I was just wasting their time.  "Go back to work." Then it got so bad that I missed 4 days of work as I couldn't even raise myself in bed. Finally, Deb called a doctor that went to our church so it was way off course from whom my insurance would cover. He ordered an MRI and the results were, I had a brain tumor and it was cancer also. To make a long story short,  The tumor, was the type that only small children got.  I was the first adult on record to get this type.  One of my uncles in California also died from a brain tumor.  Cancer also runs in our family line. I've been cancer free now for 34 years. 

Glad you beat it, what a ride.

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I'm just guessing that getting oxygen to the brain is also critical. It's why exercise is important, and sleep apnea can be destructive to the brain and heart. But I also suspect that genes also have some influence.

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It is a horrendous nightmarish disease.   

My dad was diagnosed about 20 years ago.   He was being treated for anemia, and the docs were not quite sure if it was the anemia that caused his condition or the treatments for the blood disorder.

this insidious thing just destroyed one of the brightest most fearless men I've ever known. 

I hate this disease...  and my heart goes out to anyone who's family member has it.

 

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7 hours ago, Mr. Gibson said:

Glad you beat it, what a ride.

Thanks. I told Deb, that I wouldn't go through all that again though. 

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22 hours ago, kidblast said:

It is a horrendous nightmarish disease.   

My dad was diagnosed about 20 years ago.   He was being treated for anemia, and the docs were not quite sure if it was the anemia that caused his condition or the treatments for the blood disorder.

this insidious thing just destroyed one of the brightest most fearless men I've ever known. 

I hate this disease...  and my heart goes out to anyone who's family member has it.

 

You haven't been paying attention.  Dementia isn't a "disease" but a word that describes a group of symptoms that result in the problems discussed here. But that any one word can be attached to all of this is better, I guess.  Example-----

In the early '70's, 1940's movie star(and popular WWII pin-up) RITA HAYWORTH was sadly pitied by Hollywood gossip columnists who were shocked to learn Ms. Hayworth was often seen stumbling around the streets in NYC in what appeared to be a drunken stupor and babbling incoherently.  They all assumed she was gripped by the claws of severe alcoholism and "tsk-tsked" her "fall from grace" by becoming a raving alcoholic.   

Finally, shortly before her death in 1987 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  For all anyone knows, if she had been diagnosed earlier she may have lived much longer, and her reputation wouldn't have suffered due to ignorance.

Whitefang

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23 hours ago, kidblast said:

It is a horrendous nightmarish disease.   

My dad was diagnosed about 20 years ago.   He was being treated for anemia, and the docs were not quite sure if it was the anemia that caused his condition or the treatments for the blood disorder.

this insidious thing just destroyed one of the brightest most fearless men I've ever known. 

I hate this disease...  and my heart goes out to anyone who's family member has it.

 

I’d almost consider suicide so as not to burden my wife with having to deal with me if I get it. I’ve seen too many of my older friends fade away.

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16 hours ago, Mr. Gibson said:

I’d almost consider suicide so as not to burden my wife with having to deal with me if I get it. I’ve seen too many of my older friends fade away.

I think there are some people who do just that.

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KB,  Agree.  We put so much reliance on doctors and science -  it is hard to accept the reality that some part of our body, which includes our minds,  is going to fail  no matter what.   But,  non-acceptance of the passing of loved ones paves the way for us not accepting our own mortality.   A day does not go by that I do not struggle with accepting the passing of my own parents - years ago.  Fortunately they did not suffer from dementia.  But, one wonders if losing your own mental functions softens the anxiety of knowing  your time is limited.   This is one thing every human has in common -  should bring us closer together.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes the opposite.  

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32 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

KB,  Agree.  We put so much reliance on doctors and science -  it is hard to accept the reality that some part of our body, which includes our minds,  is going to fail  no matter what.   But,  non-acceptance of the passing of loved ones paves the way for us not accepting our own mortality.   A day does not go by that I do not struggle with accepting the passing of my own parents - years ago.  Fortunately they did not suffer from dementia.  But, one wonders if losing your own mental functions softens the anxiety of knowing  your time is limited.   This is one thing every human has in common -  should bring us closer together.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes the opposite.  

true,  all of that.

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21 hours ago, Mr. Gibson said:

I’d almost consider suicide so as not to burden my wife with having to deal with me if I get it. I’ve seen too many of my older friends fade away.

First, I believe your wife wouldn't consider it a burden.  My wife(who didn't have dementia) was a bed bound invalid after a major stroke in '16.  She also relied on nourishment through a Peg tube through the abdomen, and endured both urinary and rectal incontinence.  And it was up to me to handle all the clean-up and changing required for that plus the maintenance  of her liquid food supply and the pump operation.  Plus the dressing and wound care of her hard to avoid pressure ulcers.   I never thought of it as a burden as much as a labor of love.   But anyway.....

1 hour ago, fortyearspickn said:

  But, one wonders if losing your own mental functions softens the anxiety of knowing  your time is limited.   This is one thing every human has in common -  should bring us closer together.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes the opposite.  

I'm not sure whether or not My Grandmother realized fully her condition.  And yes, maybe that IS a saving grace.  Which is also why I don't believe most in the grips of this condition probably don't consider suicide.  I mean, if you don't realize you're going through anything, then why do away with yourself? 

Whitefang

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