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January 30, 2007


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Gail Rae Hudson

My favorite part of this post is the "baptist"/"tauist" (read Taoist) reference! What a philosophical poser that is! Not more so, though, than the extraordinary complexity of cognitive impairment. As I was reading your post and enjoying, as well, your analogy to "Clue", I realized that this may not be a game of singular death, either, but several different deaths, all with different circumstances and different murderers. Oh, what gods will we think we are once we have cracked these mysteries!

I have to tell you, Mona, I started reading this post yesterday, I think, or maybe it was the day before. I stopped at a point halfway through when I began to wonder, for a reason I can't, unfortunately, delineate, if there are environmental triggers harbored in the fact that, at the moment, a majority of cognitive impairment problems are appearing in the generation of people "exposed" to WWII. Even those who weren't in the military probably had someone close to them who was. As well, there was a lot of war research, aside from and including atomic research, carried on in this country and others from which the citizens of these countries were not protected, except from the knowledge of it. I'm not one to believe out of hand that we are necessarily and suddenly seeing an "epidemic" outbreak of elderly dementia. It seems more likely to me that the propensity was waiting for the right conditions in order to make its appearance, the most important condition of which would be longevity. But, suppose another important condition is linked to the unusual changing of myriad environments due to WWII (and, later space) research, all of which eventually led to many of the environmental circumstances we are today experiencing which affected everything including, for instance, food production (both agriculture and delivery); the use of increasingly complex chemical solutions in the home for a variety of purposes including the building of devices to make life easier, etc. I know that my mother's and dad's generation embraced all these miracle products of war and space research with extraordinary enthusiasm. My mother so completely embraced canned and frozen food, for instance, that I was completely unfamiliar with the form of many fresh vegetables until I began to live on my own and shop for myself.

I can't help but wonder how many Alzheimer's researchers are following up on environmental factors that might be implicated in the flowering of the latent possibility for cognitive impairment already existing in our bodies.

Just a thought. Not sure how it's connected to anything, but your post initiated this haunting for me.


Hi, I just found your blog, through googling for cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

The reason I was looking was not to do with Alzheimer's.

Have you heard of CFIDS, or CFS? It stands for Chronic Fatigue (Immune Dysfunction) Syndrome. It is also sometimes called ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).

Dr Baraniuk has been investigating CFIDS, and I just read that apparently his research suggests that maybe "amyloid deposition in the blood vessels of the brain is causing microhemmorhaging".

So I guess you never know when some research on a different illness might eventually throw up something helpful.

BTW, I am in England, and people with Alzheimer’s have trouble getting their drugs here too - see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4637484.stm

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