Tuesday, January 24, 2012

About dementia

I have a theory about dementia - start with the left and right brain injury studies, how people make up different stories from the same input with the different sides of the brain. Then add very slight losses of vision and hearing. Something doesn't 'look right' and the mind quickly compensates, instead of investigating makes a story. The stories begin to trump 'common sense' and the mind likes them, saves them for the next confusion. That orientation gets embedded. Think about the overly suspicious, transmitters embedded in their teeth, merchants always cheating them, ... The neutral investigative option has been lost.

So early losses of peripheral vision, tinnitus, dulling of touch and taste and balance create confusion with explanation, the mind creates and keeps an explanation, and dementia develops as the story is expanded and the compensating physiology fails.
If the chosen story is questioned, the person might become irritable; if the chosen story fails to meet the situation, the person might become impatient.  Because it is too contradictory and so very uncomfortable to hold in one's thoughts a story that doesn't conform to what the senses are saying and it's easier to ignore the senses than change the story.


A few weeks later, NYT is reporting this:

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