Altzeimers – does it help with the pain of loss

I’m guessing all the BBC programs on altzeimers is to do with it being (or it was) dementia week. Lots of interesting information on the science, coping strategies and health techniques to keep it at bay, lots of sleep apparently.

Mum defiantly has signs of early stage dementia with short term memory loss being the obvious sign. As Angela Rippon said, you can’t get annoyed or challenge why they don’t remember. Just keep answering the same question as if it’s the first time you’ve heard it.

This isn’t the point of this post.

I’m wondering about other effects on the human brain as we get older. 12 months ago mum was fed up. She clearly missed Dad. Not that us Smithers’s say these things but she was. We all do.

Is dementia a way that the brain protects us in our later years. Love has got to be one of the most powerful emotions for a human to process. Dealing with the loss of someone that has been your soul mate, best friend, lover (sorry can’t think of mum and dad like that) partner in crime, the person that makes you laugh etc must have a physical effect on your brain.

If I lost Sonia or Ella or a great friend or a close relative, I know I would lose part of me. People that are that important to you form a part of you. When they die you feel it. Does this result in unknown effects on the brain when you get older.

I know the scientific community would point at brain scans and show the build up of extracellular deposits of amyloid beta (brain plaque) as a cause of Altzeimers. What triggers the build up in the first place. Genetics? Diet? Chance?

Fall off your bike and grazing your leg results in blood which clots and forms a scab allowing the skin to repair beneath.

Does the pain of the death of a loved one graze the neutrons on the brain and trigger a physical response that makes the plaque that the scans are seeing.

I’m sure I’m talking rubbish (I usually do). In a way there is some comfort to think mum is not sitting at home all day long thinking about short term memories of Dad and what happened towards the end, but remembering long term memories from when they first met. Holidays together, bring us kids up, grandchildren and “the good old days”.

I think I could cope with getting old (older) if my memories were just the good stuff and the bad stuff faded away.

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