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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Matilda Me/Dementia


Thursday - the day is odd. Spent the morning abrogating responsibilities and reading the Roald Dahl book, Matilda. I've been meaning to read it for a long time cuz Kaveh says, to his mind, I AM Matilda, a clever girl with disinterested neglectful parents who decides early on to seek revenge rather than be reduced to tears.
Most children in Matilda's place would have burst into floods of tears. She didn't do this. She sat there very still and white and thoughtful. She seemed to know that neither crying nor sulking ever got anyone anywhere. The only sensible thing to do when you are attacked, is, as Napoleon once said, to counter-attack. Matilda's wonderfully subtle mind was already at work devising yet another suitable punishment for the poisonous parent. 
Trying to understand myself without, as Landmark would say, running a racket on people in the present and justifying and perpetuating my typical responses by pulling out a story like Matilda's. And yet, it's palpable, the feelings that well up when your fault lines are breached - ancient wounds that roar with pain when someone dares to touch them. Overwhelming.

Processing. Fighting urges to shut down this blog, join a nunnery where I can sit in solitude in a garden, eschewing people for the rest of my days. Trying to make sense of things with the thought that old ways don't work, yet unable to put into practice new ways. Dissociation and a feeling of betwixt and between. As I said - processing and fighting for clarity.

Enough, let's talk about something safe. Just read an article in New Scientist entitled Food For Thought; Eat Your Way To Dementia by Bijal Trivedi. The research that's being done these days on the human brain is coming fast and furious. I'm trying to stay abreast of the discoveries with the thought that we're on the cusp of an understanding that will soon be common knowledge. Alzeimer's disease is now an epidemic, there will be 115million new cases of it in the world by 2050, with a large concentration in the U.S. The new research delves into the link between insulin and Alzeimer's. "The hormone insulin is most famous for controlling blood sugar levels, but it also plays a key role in brain signalling. When the researchers disrupted insulin's path to rats' neurons, the result was dementia."

A quote from the article:
Poor sensitivity to insulin is typically associated with type 2 diabetes, in which liver, fat and muscle cells fail to respond to the hormone. But results such as de la Monte's have led some researchers to wonder whether Alzheimer's may sometimes be another version of diabetes - one that hits the brain. Some have even renamed Alzheimer's "type 3 diabetes."
Seems that high fat and sugary Western diets cause fatigue in the brain. When the brain is flooded with too much insulin from these diets, it's on high alert which it can't sustain. In time, the overwhelmed brain turns down its insulin signalling to compensate and when that happens it also turns down the brains ability to think and form memories. That, in turn, leads to permanent neural damage - death of brain cells. It's a toxic cycle.

Evidence keeps mounting for a low glycemic, moderate calorie diet and lots of exercise. You can run but you can't hide from this reality. The sources of dementia are now being uncovered and understood. Thinking there are lots of contributing factors - insulin regulation being just one of them, but for now it's the science we have and it's science that's useful to act upon.

Challenge today is taking this shit seriously and taking a stand for your old age brain. Do you know how to eat properly (some people have no clue - they think that fluffy stuff in the grocery store that says Whole Wheat is good for you)? I may be a bit further along than some of you in the wholesome eating challenge and as such, over the next few days, I'll share some ideas about good-for-you foods. Thinking I'll also enlist the help of friend Pam who eats an amazing cornucopia of healthy fare.

Here's the link to the important article.

Peace,

Sarah

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