The Other I

February 9, 2016

In the Good News Department

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 3:11 pm

As you have probably noticed, bad news makes news;  good news has to struggle to hit the headlines.

Just today, for instance, the news is about a train crash in Bavaria, Germany which has killed 9 people and seriously injured another 50.  The second headline I saw featured a man who died after setting himself on fire this morning outside Prince William and Kate’s home in London.  Headline number 3 featured the violence in Hong Kong, followed by a revenge killing in Dublin, and the starving refugees fleeing Syria.  Your list might feature different bad news, but I bet it’s mostly depressing.

I’m not blaming the media for this.  Good news is hardly ever as surprising as bad news.  And it’s often boring.  A train crash is news:  the thousands of trains throughout the world today that ran smoothly isn’t.  Or what is there to say about an ordinary shopping day in Dublin or London or Hong Kong?

But I did read some seriously good – and interesting – news today.

The prevalence of dementia among people over the age of 65 in Britain over the last two decades has dropped by some 22% per cent.  And they don’t expect that decline to reverse itself.  Because the improvement seems to be due to improved life style and better health care in general.

As someone who is well over 65, I find this especially good news.
Dorothy & Cathy at about 2 &4 yrs

And especially grateful for parents who gave me an appreciation of the importance of nutrition and exercise on that Ohio farm where I grew up. 




  1. besides nutrition, work outs, have they identified any specific factor? i have had personal exp with dementia. lost my mom this sept. did terrible things to her. nothing helped. at 85+ didn’t try anything drastic.


    Comment by tskraghu — February 9, 2016 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

    • My sense of the research into Alzheimers is that today it is roughly where cancer research was perhaps 20 years ago. In both diseases, there is almost certainly a genetic factor which may make us either more or less vulnerable. We also know that in both cases, nutrition, alcohol, drugs, exercise, and environmental factors make a difference. And we know that overt symptoms of these diseases are not usually evident until the disease is well established, which of course inevitably makes a cure more difficult.

      Recently, scientists think they have found a simple cognitive test that can identify incipient Alzheimer’s several years before overt symptoms appear. This would be immensely helpful. The biggest challenge, though, is to identify the cause of the deterioration of the brain which lies at the heart of Alzheimer’s. There is some tantalizing research with mice that suggests that it could be a viral or bacterial infection. If so, and if it could be identified, it could lead to a cure. It would also explain why a healthy life style helps reduce Alzheimer’s incidence: people with a strong immune system are more apt to be able to fight off the infection.

      There is so much yet we don’t know. But scientists are beginning to chip away at what had seemed for so long like an impermeable boulder. But for now, love and care and understanding are probably still the greatest supports we have to offer someone suffering from this form of dementia.

      May I offer you my sympathy on the loss of your mother. I too have seen up close the devastation that Alzheimers causes. It felt almost like losing a loved one twice.

      On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 5:39 PM, The Other I wrote:



      Comment by Terry Sissons — February 10, 2016 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  2. just reading sidonie colette for the first time – she says that to be astonished, is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly perhaps an easier practice than diet and exercise who also says “If I cannnot have too many truffles, I’ll do without truffles. happy fat tuesday all!


    Comment by kateritek — February 9, 2016 @ 7:26 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for the Fat Tuesday greeting. But can I have chocolate instead of truffles?


      Comment by theotheri — February 10, 2016 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

  3. I worked in activities in an Assisted Living facility. I would play oldie records for the residents, the ones who were suffering from dementia always knew the words to the records I played. I was told the last thing they loose is the music that they loved. So sad to see people suffer from this disease. But it was so gratifying to bring a smile and a little happiness to them, in such a small way.


    Comment by Donna Czajka — February 16, 2016 @ 3:57 am | Reply

    • I did learn from a friend of ours who suffered from a stroke that he discovered he could sing things he couldn’t say. I didn’t know music lasted in the same way in the case of Alzheimer’s.
      I would wonder, though if a “little” happiness is quite the right word. Some of the deepest and profound feelings I have had have been brought about by music. And it isn’t only classical music. Country and folk music often do the same thing.
      Thank you for sharing. It’s like touching base with a friend when you add your comments. Terry


      Comment by theotheri — February 16, 2016 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

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