If you have a brain, you’re at risk for Alzheimer’s


If Alzheimer’s was any other disease, it would be considered an epidemic. Its prevalence is pervasive, its outcome, always fatal. Maybe if it qualified as an epidemic, people would stand up and take notice. Everyone has a brain. Everyone is at risk for Alzheimer’s.

Originally posted on ALZWA Blog:

In its new 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, the Alzheimer’s Association explored how healthcare providers disclose an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

45 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis. In contrast, more than 90 percent of people with the four most common cancers (breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer) or their caregivers say they were told their diagnosis.


Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older and the 3rd leading cause of death in Washington State. It is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. facts2015_prevented_cured_slowed_infographic

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation. According to the Facts and Figures report, Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost the country $226 billion this year and are projected to…

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Relationship between TBI and dementia


How timely that this article on brain injuries coincides with my article titled “Neurological hell” that I posted just a few days ago.

Originally posted on ALZWA Blog:

 By Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD

Brain xrayTraumatic brain injury (TBI) has been one of the most common maladies in human history.1  Recent quantitative studies from burial sites of prehistoric modern humans2;3 indicate that approximately one-third of our ancestors experienced cranial trauma sufficient to result in a skull fracture.   This high rate of TBI in prehistoric humans makes it likely that genetic variants that confer resistance to brain trauma, or foster repair and plasticity of injured neural tissue, would have been selectively favored through evolution.  TBI remains a major problem in modern societies, primarily as a consequence of traffic accidents and falls.   In the United States alone, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually, of which 275,000 require hospitalization and 52,000 die.4  Rates are even higher in developing countries.5

TBI is perhaps the best established environmental risk factor for dementia.  Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies…

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Renaissance – Baby Boomer style

Abby Ellin, New York Times, writes about the late-life renaissances that many Baby Boomers experience when they re-decide what they want to be when they grow up.

Path of lifeWhen we were younger, many of us drifted into college studies and post-college careers that may or may not have been our first choice but at least paid the bills.  As we near retirement, or even years before retirement, we wonder, “Is this all there is?”  And when we wonder like that, we get dissatisfied, and when we get dissatisfied – if we’re gutsy – we’ll do what it takes to become satisfied.  If we don’t attain our desired level of satisfaction, we’ll languish: lose vitality, grow weak, and become feeble.  My oh my, is that what you want? Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

Happy sunshine faceI’m a writer so I am always intrigued with word arrangements and different takes on relatively normal phrases.  Here are several paraprosdokians: figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is unexpected. Credit for this entry goes to Larry Brooks of www.storyfix.com

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  3. In filling out an application, where it says, Emergency Contact I put ‘doctor.”
  4. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  5. You do not need a parachute to skydive unless you want to do it again.
  6. I used to be indecisive; now I’m not so sure.
  7. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  8. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  9. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  10. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they’re sexy.


Neurological hell

NFL players are choosing early retirement. Is the future of football under scrutiny?

I LOVE football. Actually, I love the Seattle Seahawks, but I cringe each time a player gets pummeled in the head.

Brain superimposed on treeThe above Washington Post article suggests American football may some day fall away as a sport, similar to what happened to boxing.  Many years ago, I remember boxing being the sport that people gathered around their televisions to watch, whether at home or in the bars.  I can understand why nowadays most of us would rather not watch two people bash each other in the head; a head with virtually no protection in the boxing ring.  But even with all the sophisticated helmet and body gear covering football players on the field, players are still sustaining concussions that could sooner or later place them in neurological hell. Continue reading

Rejection is a passing fantasy

Enevelope greenHave you ever been rejected? Read the attached NY Times article: Accepted? Rejected? Relax You’ll see that the article was retitled since it first appeared so when you click on the link, you’ll see the subject matter as being about college admissions.

Rejection affects all of us: it’s not just about college admission policies.

I’m a writer; I should know.

I’ve only been looking for an agent for 30 days, therefore the 15 rejections – or what I like to call not interesteds – I’ve received out of 60 submissions sent is only 25% of the total so far.  Wow, 75% of the agents haven’t turned me down yet! Continue reading

Lighten up Mondays

ShamrockHappy day before St. Patrick’s Day!  I’m half Irish so I want to celebrate by providing a couple Irish-themed jokes to start off your week with a laugh or two:

A Spanish singer chatting on television used the word manana.  When asked what that meant, he said, “It means, maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that, next week, next month or next year.  It’s like, who cares?”

Shay Brennan, an Irishman in the conversation, was asked if there’s an Irish equivalent.  “No, in Ireland we don’t have a word to describe that level of urgency.”

There was a Scotsman, an Englishman, and an Irishman all taking a tea break at a building site.  The Englishman pipes up, “If my wife puts cheese on my sandwich again, I am going to kill myself.”  The Scotsman says, “If my wife puts egg on my sandwich again, I will kill myself.”  The Irishman says, “If I find ham on my sandwich again, I will kill myself.”

Sure enough, the next day all three men open their lunch boxes and find the sandwiches are all full of cheese, egg, and ham so they all go off to different parts of the construction site and kill themselves.

Later in the week, all three men are being buried and the Englishman’s wife says, “If he didn’t want cheese on his sandwich he should have told me.”  The Scotsman’s wife says the same concerning the egg sandwich.  Then the Irishman’s wife pipes up, “I can’t understand this, Paddy makes his own sandwich.”