After watching Anthony Hopkins’s harrowing Oscar winning portrayal of a brain in delusional decline in the movie ‘Father,’ any research which hints at preventive strategies would be welcome. As infections have been linked with dementia scientists hypothesized that routine vaccinations for infestations like influenza, pneumococcus, a bug that causes pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough might lead to lower rates of dementia. Sadly, they found just the opposite. Vaccination was actually associated with an increased risk of developing this dreaded brain disorder. In fact the more vaccinations received the greater the risk.
The mavens have been scrambling to explain these unexpected findings claiming that the results weren’t biologically plausible. Oh dear, back to the drawing board.
Not long age I penned ‘The Wellness Guide to Preventing the Diseases of Ageing,’ which has a chapter outlining dementia prevention. While not claiming to be the final word it appears that a multitude of initiatives might give us a protective edge including not only exercise, diet and the supplements we might take but also expanding the connectivity of our brain cells by learning a new language or musical instrument for example.