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Old Age, Memory Loss And Keeping The Brain In Shape

Alzheimer’s disease is hereditary and there is no cure for it.  Find out how early detection and early memory training can help to stave off this insidious disease.

Jane woke up one morning and was astonished to find a strange man in bed with her.  “Who are you and what are you doing here?” she shouted as the man looked on with  surprise and shock.  Jane, aged 71 is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  The intruder in her bed is her husband of 60 years and is someone who dearly loved her and has shared the bed with her all the while they were happily married. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia named after the German physical Alois Alzheimer (1864 to 1915).  Sufferers of this disease gradually lose their memory.  As one of the worst form of memory loss, those afflicted can remember events that happened 20 years ago but not what they ate for breakfast half an hour ago. 

Notable dignitaries afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease include the late US President Ronald Reagan.  Once the disease has progressed, sufferers don’t even recognise their closest relatives.  They suffer huge interference in orientation and also severe depression.   In recent years, it has been determined that this disease is hereditary.

At present there is no cure for the disease although pharmaceutical companies all around the world are trying to develop and effective form of medication.  Sadly, current medication are only effective if the disease is detected in it’s early stages. 

Memory loss in old age is a natural part of the aging process and even for old people who become forgetful, very few are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  Although memory techniques, mental or memory training cannot be of any help once Alzheimer’s has taken root, it is still the best form of defense to stave off the disease for as long as possible.  Therefore, to prevent memory loss and to maintain mental fitness as long as possible, it helps to start memory training early. 

The bad news is that brain cells cannot be replenished once they die.  Every person is born with about 100 thousand million neural cells. As you get older, more and more of these cells will die off as part of the growing and aging process.  But the good news is that older our mental resource seems to be getting less and less as we grow older, many people remain very alert and creative in their old age.  This is especially true of creative minds that remain mentally alert for a long time. 

The French feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986) continued to write books at the age of 75 and the Nobel prize winning Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) did the same at the age of 93.  The Polish born pianist Artur Robinstein (1887 – 1982) was still performing at concerts at the age of 89 and the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer lectured at the age of 98.   And who can forget the delectable American George Burns with a smoking cigar in hand?  Burns continued to act in movies and on television right up to his death at the age of 100.

Mentally active people appear to be more likely to maintain their mental faculties much longer.  The examples of these people show that if you continue to work your brain and keep mentally fitFind Article, you can counteract the inevitable loss of the brain’s neural cells in old age and continue to live a fulfilling life.

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