Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Boomers Brains Are Turning to Oatmeal

I guess the incidence of Alzheimer's has jumped ten percent in the last few years.  And they're expecting it to leap exponentially as Boomers get older.

Personally, I think all the drugs people did back in their twenties are not helping.  A few years ago, okay, more than a few years ago, a friend of mine said that the biggest druggie in his group had brain fade. He was pretty much turning into a vegetable in his forties.

The guys had begun to notice a difference at their annual Turkey Bowl flag football game. Now he couldn't even play anymore, But he would show up with his wife and stand on the sidelines.  He knew he wanted to be there but he wasn't sure why. 

I had a bunch of friends who played a lot of beach volleyball in LA back in the seventies and eighties. I used to fly in from Chicago with my suit on under my slacks and jacket and we'd drive straight to a tournament at one of the Santa Monica beaches.

Lots of times I would see a guy standing against a beach wall, wearing a dirty flannel shirt and jeans in the ninety degree heat.  He had long hair and a beard, but underneath it all, you could see he was still young and handsome in a blond, California way. Only now his eyes were strange and he kind of swayed back and forth as he watched the players.

I finally asked who he was and I was told he used to be somebody, a bigtime player. But he'd been on one too many drug trips and never came back from the last one. All he could do now was stand on the sidelines.

So even though Alzheimer's may have a host of DNA issues and retro virus issues, and maybe even aluminum in our deodorant issues, let's not forget that there's a whole generation of people who not only inhaled, but they sniffed, shot up, and swallowed enough mind altering chemicals to rewire all the synapses of a small country.

I haven't known many people diagnosed with Alzheimer's, maybe four. But the one common denominator they all shared, from where I sit, was that they smoked like chimneys.

Not that my abstinence guarantees any immunity -- I've eaten so much canned tuna I can give you the temperature in three time zones. 

[If anyone wants to know the other, not ready for primetime punchline I wrote, just email your request.]


screaminremo303 said...

My paternal grandfather died from Alzheimer's complications. He was an organic gardener his entire life, never drank or smoked, and never took anything stronger than an aspirin. But he spent his entire life working in the machine-shop business and was exposed to aluminum dust, oxides, and chemical solvents of all types. My Dad has done the same kind of work since 1960 and is beginning to have similar effects. I think genetics and general aging processes play a big part, but count me in as one of the people who worry about all the aluminum cookware being used in our daily lives.

I should probably lose the foil hat just to be safe, but it keeps the Air America broadcasts away.

mosie1944 said...

The people I know who've had Alzheimer's were all farmers, and non-smokers.

jevanslink said...

Being a farmer may be the most dangerous job in the world.  Between the accidents, fungi from crops, viruses from sick animals, poisons from the fertilizers, and pesticides it's a wonder there are any left.

Mrs. L