Saturday, 3 September 2016

September 2016: forgetfulness or Alzheimer's?


“Can’t remember: I must be getting Alzheimer’s” people say, nowadays, if they’re not as young as they were. 
And I sigh. Nine out of ten times, they aren’t, and the worry is not doing them any good. In fact, noone who ever said this to me, seemed anything but just forgetful. Or: very forgetful. More or less the same as me.
Alzheimer’s [1] is different. As you'll see from the following.

If you:
forget a name, word, or experience, and remember it later;
forget, but being reminded works;
effectively use tools to help you remember: notes, a calendar; 
can retrieve something which you forgot several times before;
have memory problems due to stress, fatigue, or overdoing;
keep your usual personality and behaviour;
can still look after yourself and perform basic needs like bathing, dressing, eating;

However, if someone:
has trouble performing normal tasks;
forgets how to do things they’ve done lots of times;
gets lost or disoriented in familiar places;
repeats stories within the same conversation;
can’t make choices, shows poor judgment;
can’t follow directions;
behaves in socially inappropriate ways:
they may be heading in the wrong direction.

Alzheimer’s develops due to a whole complex of factors, some of which can’t be helped. But there are plenty of ways in which you can influence the outcome. 
* Regular exercise: at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week; balance and coordination exercises (like yoga, tai chi). 
* Healthy diet: less sugar; more fruits, veg [2], and whole grains; avoid trans fats and refined foods.
* Mental stimulation: learn something new, do puzzles or games, read.
* Quality sleep: see insomnia Thought April 2015 (click on 2016).
* Stress management: laugh! And see Thought July 2014 (click on 2016).
* An active social life: volunteer, join a club, phone, get out, get to know your neighbours.
* Stop smoking; watch your weight; control your blood pressure, don’t drink too much.
* In general, what’s good for your heart also benefits the health of your brain.
See [3].

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia - even doctors sometimes use the terms interchangeably. Alzheimer's is a type of dementia. Dementia is a general symptom and can also be caused by other disorders [4].  

Are only girls supposed to eat grapefruits these days? Why else are they all pink? Or is something more sinister behind this? See the New Scientist article 'BITTER TRUTH', under September on the right hand side of this page. 

Veg: broad/runner/french beans, marrow, squash, courgette, lettuce, turnip, peas/mangetout, aubergine, capsicum, spinach (beet), chard, sweetcorn, shallots, tomatoes, cauli, carrots, cabbage, beet, globe artichoke, cucumber, fennel, radish, kohlrabi, calabrese, chicory, endive, celery, broccoli, swede.
FishMackerel, sea bass, black bream, crab, mussels, scallops.
Meat: rabbit, lamb, wood pigeon, duck, goose, grouse, partridge, venison.

spring cabbage, spinach, turnips, oriental vegetables, landcress, rocket, corn salad, winter lettuce, winter purslane. Plant overwintering onion sets, garlic.


225g beans, olive oil, 1 small chopped onion, 180ml apple cider, salt, pepper.
Cook beans till just done. Sauté onion in oil and stir till it starts to caramellize. Heat small pan over medium-low heat. Add cider, raise heat a bit and cook until the liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 5 mins. Season beans and add to onion mix, stir.

4x175g pollock or whiting fillets, 4 small or 1 large kohlrabi, 2 chopped onions, 3 minced garlic cloves, some tomatoes or tomato puree, thyme, basil, 4 tblsp olive oil, seasoning. 
Sauté onion and garlic in half the oil. Add tomatoes and thyme, cook for 10 mins, stir occasionally till the sauce thickens. Add chopped basil, salt, pepper. Remove thyme. Peel kohlrabi, slice thinly. Cook in salted water 10-15 mins. Fry fish in the rest of the oil till done. Put on each plate: kohlrabi, fish, top with sauce.

For more recipes, see former September issues: click on 2016 at the right hand side of this page.