Dementia Marionette

My favorite brain joke so far: When exploring the brain, go up the spinal cord, take the first left, dendrite.

We humans like to have control over what happens to us. When there’s a problem, we like to be able to DO something, to take action. It’s why we smother our friends with comfort food during a crisis.

dementia puppetThis desire for control applies to our health as well. There are many things we can do to keep ourselves in good health like sex, soup, and two fisted eating to name a few fun ones. (Click on the link if you’re new to the blog.)  But some diseases make us feel like marionettes with strings attached for genetics and age and the circumstances of life. Those strings pull us in scary directions like heart disease, cancer, and dementia.

Over the years, studies have revealed things we can do to prevent heart disease and cancer to a certain extent, like exercising or not smoking. These actions turn taut strings into bungee cords, allowing us to regain some measure of control. We can’t cut the strings but we can resist their pull. Up until now, Alzheimers and dementia were taut strings with give, no way for us to fight back.

But elastic has finally arrived! A new study has show evidence for one thing we can do to help prevent or delay dementia: control our blood pressure. There IS something you can do. It’s scary to see dementia coming your way. You can’t take flight because of the strings of genetics and age, but you can fight.

heart bp1When you consider what we learned about blood pressure and the heart, it becomes obvious why blood pressure affects the brain. If blood pressure is too high for too long, blood vessels become damaged. Damaged blood vessels don’t deliver oxygen and nutrients so cells suffer and die. If those dead cells are in the brain, it affects the way we think, respond, and remember. The brain is only 2% of the body’s weight, but it receives 20% of the body’s blood. That’s nearly 1 liter per minute.

We may not have ultimate control over our health, but with healthy habits we can give ourselves a fighting chance.

Click on the links to learn how high blood pressure causes damage and how to lower and/or control your blood pressure.

Where are neurons put in jail when they commit a crime? A nerve cell.

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”  Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:6-8


Reference: August 2018


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