Friday, October 02, 2009

COGNITIVE DECLINE -------THANK HEAVENS WE CAN LAUGH AT OURSELVES!
I was so engrossed in commenting on other posts, I forgot the focus for this post.  My forgetting  is rather apt, because the post is about memory loss.  The article that took my interest on this subject was still open on my desk top and so reminded me what I intended to do.  Should I be personally concerned at needing a memory aid?

Many people go to collect something from, say, a drawer,and forget what it was they wanted.  It is quite a common event. There are sillier forgetfulnesses and distractions, such as putting something in the oven instead of the fridge.  Thank heavens we can laugh at ourselves!  Lots of people have done it.  Is it really funny?
 
There could be a range of reasons for increased confusions and exacerbated memory loss, especially in older people.  Infection is certainly one possibility, there are others.  For now, there does not seem to be any magic answer  for the prevention of  chronic cognitive decline.

Research  is indicating that body  infections may speed up memory decline, especially in Alzheimers disease.  Researchers at Southampton University say that infections increase an inflammatory protein in the blood, known as a tumour necrosis factor (TNF).  The obvious defensive responses to this, are good observation, devising fast action to deal with suspected  infections, and  providing skilled care, especially in residential, nursing homes and hospitals.  Preventing infections from spreading is nigh impossible.

This is the point where it is necessary to think outside the box (lateral thinking).  It is where the researchers and pharmacological experts join forces.  One thought is to try to protect the human system by blocking TNF to prevent more inflammation of the brain.  Research into cognitive decline is a growth area.   TNF is just one aspect of it and like many others, needs further research.

4 comments:

MKL said...

You see, I didn't forget to comment :)

Don't you feel people are so busy these days, which includes online and offline worlds. Imagine 15years ago, nobody had a laptop or cellphone. So it was fairly easy to remember things. These days it's all hectic and chaotic. I wonder what kind of elderly will there be in 2050 (including me)... sometimes I think what's the point of my 'online life'. Giving so much of myself, yet I'm just virtual for others. Like having 2 identities. Well, for now I think it's a phase. If it becomes permanent, then I have a problem...

ZACL said...

I read some research that suggests that people who maintain brain activity, which includes using technology, such as computers, are 70% less likely to become cognitively impaired; (at least, to any abnormal extent for ones age, I suppose).

I have a relative of 90, who uses a computer, keeps the brain working with all sorts of interests who even with a touch of pneumonia, recently asked me a trick question.

;)

ZACL said...

p.s.

MKL Glad you didn't forget to comment!

MKL said...

I have your blog in my Google reader, so that's my reminder. ;)