Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Rob joins Joe, Toren and Kevin to look at Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. We look at dementia through history, how shockingly recently we’ve understood that this is a disease at all, signs of Alzheimer’s, fake bus stops, the “Dementia Village” of Hogewey, plus pop culture!

Music: “Non Dementicar” by Nat King Cole




4 Responses

  1. Great episode guys, but, as I’m sure for others too, one that hits close to home. I’m a big fan of Pratchett and so was dismayed to hear about his illness and ultimate death, but he did at least leave an awful lot of himself behind. He was a very strong advocate for euthanasia too and the right to choose the timing of his own death. I might also start keeping a closer eye on family members who are starting to struggle with memory.

    One of your comments later in the show reminded me of a short story I read when I was in high school called Flowers For Algernon, which I suspect is a lot more widely known than I realised. It follows the story of a mentally challenged janitor who is given a series of drugs at the same time that they’re given to a mouse called Algernon. The drugs make the janitor and the mouse both very smart over time, but then it stops working (for the janitor at least), and then you watch his slide back into ignorance again – I think it was written in the first person, actually, so you can see how terrible his spelling is to begin with, how smart he gets, and how frustrated he gets as he watches it all fade again. Anyway, I found it a really moving story and well worth the read.

    Someone mentioned Cicero and the Roman Empire at some point (I think – I emailed myself a note about it as a reminder) – I’m gonna nerd out (because I can) and just make the point that Cicero died in 43BCE, a quarter of a century before the Roman Empire was established (27BCE). It was still the Roman Republic when Cicero died. 😉

    Something that would have been great to cover is a new system I happened to spot on an Australian science show a few weeks ago: it’s a virtual reality simulator for aged care workers to show them what it can be like to have dementia. The system runs through a typical day of a dementia patient with the user seeing through the eyes of the patient. I could have sworn I only saw it a month or two ago, but the only links I could find for it were much older.

    I’m nicking “jargonicious” too (and have already used it at work)! 😉