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August 04, 2008

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Manfred Brockhaus

Even professional Alzheimer's researchers do not understand more than a layperson - and this after spending billions of dollars on AD research. The advice to get good exercise etc. can't be so wrong. Let me point out that there is an often overlooked factor triggering the disease with several years delay: A short loss of consciousness after falling. It is is very frequent in the elder age group and it is often not even reported by the family. Even a slight brain damage may put so much stress on the brain repair system (= neuroplasticity) that the biochemical system (= beta-amyloid ?) gets overly activated. It's a common picture seen also in other diseases that the repair stress leads the way to a collaps of the whole system and finally to the death of the individual. AD in my view is the fatal consequence out of attemps to repair damaged brain tracks. My advice to the >50y is: Don't play football, soccer, or hockey. Keep your brain as something precious and vulnerable as it is.

Don Moyer

So, now Mesulam and Bennett are saying out loud and in public what persons living with memory challenges have been saying for years. Fascinating!

Gail Rae Hudson

Completely off topic: Good word, "plenary"!
Really workable, promising stuff, here, despite the appearance that, as Brockhaus says, "Even professional Alzheimer's researchers do not understand more than a layperson..."
The idea that failure in drug trials needs to be redefined is, to my mind, very on point. Reminds me of something I believe was attributed to Edison (forgive me if I'm not remembering it exactly): That if he failed 99 times he was 99 trials closer to success.
There's lots in this for me to ponder, specifically (but not completely): The "something else" theory; considering one's brain a vulnerable organ; the emphasis on social networks...which leads me to wonder, what about people (like me, for instance) who don't actually know what loneliness is because their preference is for being alone; what about when a normally social person hits the stage where my mother's at when socializing in very small, occasional doses is preferred; is this actually a symptom of something being wrong...or is it a natural social progression for some people?
Anyway, I'm very glad you went to this conference, Mona...I'm eating up your reports, and ever grateful that you have "at least two years" worth of material to write about!
Carry on!

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