(2001) by David Shenk (@dshenk) per mention in Gabor Maté‘s scattered
the evidence that auguste d has not lost herself. rather, her ‘self’ was taken from her. cell by cell by cell, she had been strangled by unwelcome, malignant intruders
kafka would have enjoyed this – as a general rule, alzheimer’s sufferers must die before they can be definitively diagnosed..
earliest symptoms – short term memory loss
average interval from diagnosis to death in alzheimer’s disease is 8 yrs
you have to learn to be satisfied with what comes to you.. c.s.h.
when mind really wanders.. amazing what sort of involuntary memory leaps one makes. what’s more.. perhaps single most important point to understand about memory: every time a memory is recalled, new trails are made.. the act of remembering generates new memories.. becoming.. memory of memories.. overlap is very basis of memory and identity.. because of this, no recorded experience can ever be fully distinct from anything else..t
the ease w which false memories can be implanted
gaslighting ness.. voluntary compliance.. manufactured consent..
recall is never replay
turns out.. fuzziness is not a sever limitation but a highly advance feature. as a matter of engineering, the brain does not have any physical limitation in the amount of info it can hold. it is designed specifically to forget most of the details it comes across, so that it may allow us to form general impressions, and from there useful judgments. forgetting is not a failure at all, but an active metabolic process a flushing out of data in the pursuit of knowledge and meaning.
some can’t forget enough and were debilitated by it.. ie: martin scorsese
the man (not scorsese.. another man.. no name), it seemed, quite literally remembered everything. and yet he understood almost nothing..
big question for him.. and most troublesome.. was how he could learn to forget..
what makes details hazy also enables us to prioritize info, recognize and retain patterns… the brain eliminates trees in order to make sense of and remember the forests. forgetting is a hidden virtue..t forgetting is what makes us so smart..
could alzheimer’s be herpes of the brain?.. nearly all human are infected by hsv1 by the time they reach middle age. the virus mostly seems to lie dormant but can become active and create cold sores and other hazards in times of stress..
freud insisted that mental health was not a simple matter of healthy vs diseased. bit more of a continuum..
one estimate has roughly half of all alzheimer’s’ caregivers struggling w clinical depression…
it said i was ‘staying with’ dad – which has a far different connotation than ‘taking care of’ dad – like i am here mooching off him because of some deficiency in my own life
while medical science gives us many tools for staying alive, it cannot help us with the art of living – or dying.. with alzheimer’s disease, the caregiver’s challenge is to escape the medical confines of disease and to assemble a new humanity in the loss..
one realization that popped up over and over again on the list, for ie, was the importance of not forcing ‘reality’ onto someone living w alzheimer’s
i finally realized that whatever i said/did to correct her made no difference. i realized that life would be easier if i let her do what she wanted.. i no longer scolded her.. after that life changed very much for the good. she is happy but still declining.. i am happy and have adjusted to my new ‘life’..
perhaps best advice for world..
ie: gershenfeld sel
just the act of wondering got him off to a good start
there is pain in forgetfulness, he wrote, but sometimes there is something delicious in oblivion. t.. recently i spent some time w the 3yr old grandson of a fried.. he has down’s.. i could enjoy sharing w him his friendly little non verbal world in a way i never could have before..
higashida autism law ness.. maté not yet scrambled ness
something delicious in oblivion.. could morris help bridge the widening chasm between the optimistic world of science and the despairing world of sufferers..? he knew full well tha t, as a disease, alzheimer’s is degenerative and incurable. he chose instead to face it as a human condition. in his own forgetting, morris wanted to find meaning, and hope
father (emerson) has sat quiet in a chair all the forenoon.. ellen wrote to her mother in nov 1872, declaring that idlesse is the business of age, and he loves above all things ‘to do nothing’ and that he never before had discovered this privilege of 70 yrs
In old age the emphasis shifts from doing to being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, know nothing of being. It asks: being? What do you do with it? – Eckhart Tolle
it’s a powerful irony that emerson, of all people, should have lost his memory, not just because he contributed so much to the public discourse on the subjects of intellect, identity, imagination, and the human spirit, but also because he spent his entire life constructing one of the most elaborate external memory systems – in the form of books and journals – of any writer in history.. his ‘wide world ‘ journals, which he inaugurated in his jr year at harvard as ‘a receptacle of.. all the luckless raggamuffin ideas which may be collected and imprisoned hereafter in these pages’ ended up filling hundreds of pages and being organized into many distinct subjects and meticulously cross referenced..t
the young emerson explicitly referred to his brand-new journal as a ‘tablet to save the wear and tear of weak memory’ it is almost as if emerson was in conscious prep throughout his life for the time when he would lose his memory, constructing an elaborate mech to fall back on..t
ha. hlb ness.. this site
it takes memory though to make memory. once his illness began, his life’s work of creating a reservoir of external memory was effectively over..
denial is an important part of the alzheimer’s experience, very commonly employed as symptoms first appear.. at any juncture where a truth is so horrifying that the most emotionally healthy choice is to pretend that it does not exist..
it’s also customary for denial to fade away and then return again sometime later.
in beginning when hippocampus begins to degrade, memory formation fails..
then when the nearby amygdala becomes compromised, control over primitive emotions like fear, anger, and craving is disrupted; hostile eruptions and bursts or anxiety may occur all out of proportion to events, or even out of nowhere..
not surprisingly, auditory and visual hallucinations are not uncommon in the middle and later stages of alzheimer’s
next.. touch, vibration, pain and spatial awareness.. inability to understand the source or meaning of touch..
when tangles finally reach frontal lobes.. identity itself begins to vanish..
the sufferer and her family cannot continue to treat her forgetfulness as a liability that can be overcome w post it notes. it now becomes the dominant force in the patient’s life, a major disability..
not just that went grocery shopping last night.. but what groceries are
other central competencies that wither include: ability to understand simple questions/instructions.. ability to follow a convo or keep track of one’s own words/thoughts; ability to place oneself in right time of day/year; ability/desire to plan for future; ability to choose one’s own clothes; bath; ability to recognize friends/relatives; the capacity for awareness (in these yrs.. the sufferer loses all awareness of his/her condition. introspection vanishes. this is anosognosia)
retrogenesis – back to birth
infants are born w billions of neurons but almost no myelin insulation protecting these neurons, rendering them virtually useless. as neurons in various regions of the brain become insulated during child development, generating the famous ‘white matter’ (myelin) of the brain, these regions are brought online, made effective..
one of the very last structures in the brain to be covered in protective myelin is the hippocampus, making it one of the last places to work effectively. this is why children generally don’t have any permanent memories prior to age three (although the amygdala can store some very early emotional memories)
scattered, when body says no, realm of hungry ghosts..
in alz – starts in hippo.. and moves to next least myelinated..
every skill, feeling, and fact that the patient has learned slowly, satisfyingly, is being steadily erased as if by some sort of cosmic punishment.
the child analogy understandably rangles many caregivers.. they are deeply offended at the suggestion that their mother/father/husband/wife is not to be regarded as a mere child. it feels like the ultimate insult one could inflict on someone. not yet fully formed, children are regarded as incomplete persons. we love them, of course, and recognize them as human begins, but we do not fully trust them. we assume a certain responsiblity and even moral superiority over them. to assume this same posture toward a parent/grandparent who has stood for a lifetime in a position of moral authority is a sad and sour thing.. it is tragic and demoralizing to suddenly strip our esteemed elders of their authority and reposition them as untrustworthy and intellectually inferior
dang.. that paragraph describes a much worse condition that the alzheimer’s.. or anything else really… to have that belief.. that’s our poison..
1 yr to be 5.. or younger..
but the comparison is valid and even necessary one to make..
oy..perhaps not.. perhaps why we’re so disease ridden.. perhaps it’s the middle ages that are the ones needing caregivers.. getting us back to us
(quotes from children’s book).. what if i turned into a polar bear and was meanest and i had sharp teeth and i chased you into your tent and you cried.. then i would be very surprised and very scared. but still, inside the bear, you would be you , and i would love you
the book is about a child exploring the boundaries of unconditional love. but in a home tainted by alz.. it also comes off as a perfect parable for the anxieties of both sufferer and caregiver.. the sufferer wants to know. what will happen when i become e a real burden? the caregiver wonders how bad the wandering, stubbornness, irritability, and bursts of snarling anger will become.. as illness progresses, she will struggle to look thru the disease and recognize the person inside.
prusiner intended message: don’t be afraid to buck the conventional wisdom; that’s how scientific progress is made..t
glaxo wellcome to roses: good scientists not being able to look objectively at science, being so subjectively involved in being right and organizing posses to make sure that other people are kept from )getting the grants- – hang these guys to they’re not in the way of what we’re doing
disagreement..keeping from cure/potential.. not so much about what’s being said in conf/meeting rooms.. but what’s not being said
other earlier chroniclers of senility include: euripides, chaucer, montaigne, chekhov, blazac, carlyle, hugo, trollope, conan doyle, bernard shaw, joyce, melville, conrad, tocqueville, wharton, darwin, cooper, poe, hawthorne, sinclair lewis, o henry, sir walter scot, dickens and thoreau..
but life expectancy was like 50.. so not that many experiencing it.. so why was senile dementia such a popular topic..
in myth/fable senility often intersects w immortality
by extending our lives, we achieve suffering.. on swift (wrote gulliver’s travels)
this meant that modern medicine has not only reduced external threats, but has also somehow *overcome internal rhythms.. we’re pushing our bodies past their own innate limits (ie: indi 500.. cars not made for 501)
*ones we had already intoxicated..? with ie: industrialization, agriculture, capitalism, civilization ness…
due to extraordinary medical interventions in cancer, heart disease and other conditions, humankind is not living longer than our genes would ordinarily allow
? what’s ordinary..? is cancer, heart disease.. natural..? didn’t we create that..? maybe our bodies could last longer if we went deeper on the healing side..
haven’t they lasted longer before..?
we are outliving our own mortality signature, living on what epidemiologists call ‘manufacture time’ it is the cushion of extra life that we are creating for ourselves w our ingenuity and our tools..
? i don’t think so.. i think we are having to come up with more band aids because of our manufactured consent.. manufactured us..
the real challenge, of course, is to insure that this new time is something we are happy to have
rather.. if we are whole/healed.. happy whenever.. time irrelevant..
in the 1980s, as researchers began to contemplate the possibility of trying to defeat alzheimer’s disease.. the search for a fitting animal mode became paramount. no one could develop a successful alz drug w/o first testing it, and refining it on animals.. in order to save human lives, many thousands of nonhuman lives would first be forfeited to science..
perhaps.. better to not create disease in first place.. perhaps today we have means to leap to that.. restart us.. global do-over.. and for that.. we need enough of us humans modeling a way 7bn could leap to today..
ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…].. a nother way
the trouble was that, as far as anyone could tell no other creature naturally suffers from alzheimer’s. it is a disease of sophistication..
oy.. like civilization.. which is a great name for dis ease..
how is this not a red flag..?
so looked for best possible sub.. indications of a less elaborate senile dementia in lesser developed mammals. at ten or eleven yrs of age, they noted, some dogs start to have sleeping trouble, pacing around at night and getting lost in familiar surroundings..
schooling the world.. dogs included..
found plaques similar to those in human alz victims – but no tangles.. .. found same in cats, bears, squirrel monkeys and lemurs.. in aging polar bears and sheep .. they saw just the reverse.. tangles but no plaques… no one could find a single animal aside from humans that has them both..
researchers end up using mice.. because they age quickly.. but to alz researchers.. virtually useless.. so set out to ‘humanize’ mice.. to trick their bodies into acquiring a disease that evolution had spared them..
let’s do that for people.. hari rat park law
humanizing rats to mendel’s (1850s) transgenics (transfer of genes) of garden peas .. to degeneration.. reverse of survival of fittest.. and getting rid of bad genes..people.. to society of racial hygiene – 1905 – alois alzheimer joined.. at bottom of that slope: hitler’s final solution.. the systematic extermination of jews, gypsies, homosexuals , handicapped, mentally ill, and others considered degenerate..
1940.. konrad lorenz writes to support nazi aims:.. otherwise these deleterious mutation swill permeate the body of the people like the cells of a cancer
alz: perhaps the future.. will let us see more clearly here and then show the principles to advantage.. when we have to decide whether a termination of pregnancy is appropriate or not..
science as weaponry: the metaphor is a reminder of scientists; awesome power. the naming of diseases is a powerful social act that in turn can dictate social behavior. it therefore behooves the public to keep a close watch over the defn of diseases, of the power of drs to decide what is and is not a part of healthy human society. like the military, the scientific establishment should ultimately be under the watch of civilians ensuring the public will
1953 watson and crick propose double helix model as structure of dna.. then can knock out tiny snippet and insert replacement.. then .. so-called.. knock-out mice became powerful tool for researchers all across the disease spectrum.. giving mice all the diseases.. and in 1996 – alz mice
the notion of scientists fighting in court for the exclusive right to create a defective mouse was grotesque. bu the new genetic lent itself to such absurdity, since it gave humans the power to alter the basic guiding blocks of life.. in pursuit of their own interest, corp managers saw little choice but to reduce transgenic creations to matter of contract and property law
this is what we’ve done to humans..
the irony of the effort to ‘humanize’ these mice, then, was that they were also simultaneously pushed in a very diff direction – out of the realm of living beings entirely. it is as though the mice, now that they were programmable, were nothing more than machinery..
this is what we’re doing to humans
alzheimers disease is the epitome of this because there’s so much money at stake – glaxo wellcome’s allen roses
this was the new scientific ethic, as dictated by corp managers: get products to market..
in his former academic life, roses has spent decades applying for govt grants, publishing in prestigious journals, and attending a whirlwind of academic conferences. he no longer did any of this – not just because he didn’t have to, he said, but also because he was convinced that academic science had become permanently corrupted by money and that he had found a new and much better way. as an academic, roses said, he merely fought over ideas. as a corp pharmacogeneticist, he was actually working to conquer diseases..
i was in a situation where i was spending 50-60% of my time writing grants that never got funding..t
so what we have now done is say.. piss off. we’re just going to do it. we’re going to do it right/objectively on the basis of the data..
what they are and how we target them.. i don’t have to publish that. i don’t have to take the time/people it would involve to publish it..
am i keeping anything from my fellow researchers around the world in alz disease? hell no.. all they ever did when i ever said anything was to say. no no no.. we would just argue it at all these sci meetings.. now we debate in the context of very critical, highly skilled scientists who know that our viability as a time, our viability as a company and our jobs depend on it – not whether we get it first into publication.
in fact, roses was withholding info, as he acknowledged. his point seemed obvious. he was arguing that, in the new context of market science, withholding info was more efficient. the ends justified the means. the market would sort things out
the challenge morris friedell took upon himself after receiving his alz diagnosis. he wanted to unravel the mystery of a brain disease just as this disease was unraveling him. he wanted to study his own undoing..t
in essay: perhaps, as my selfhood diminishes, i can add to the general human understanding of matters such as ‘self’ and ‘time’ and ‘nothingness’.. perhaps can make my slow dying a final intellectual and aesthetic adventure..t
it was n’t long before he sent back his frist dispatch, about a surprising advantage he discovered in forgetting. with less of a grip on what happened two hours or ten minutes ago, morris reported feeling dramatically more involved in the present.. ‘i find myself more visually sensitive.. everything seems richer: lines, planes, contrast. it is a wonderful compensation.. we (who have alz disease) can appreciate clouds, leaves, flowers as we never did before.. as the poet therodore roetke put it ‘in a dark time the eye begins to see”..t
see w heart.. quiet enough to see
‘so many of us go thru life like tourists w a camera always between our eyes and the world’ alz won’t allow that sort of detachment…t.. the short circuiting of memory forces every alz sufferer to be always in the now..this is widely regarded as one of the horror of the disease.. but from his firsthand experience, morris argued that being perpetually in the now has an upside. it leads to an actual heightening of consciousness.. ‘i can watch kitten playing in a way i couldn’t before’
noticed mom’s connection w babies/toddlers – eye contact et al
ok.. this next part to that.. and perhaps to maté not yet scrambled law:
how could neurological disease enrich awareness?
all of waking life is a stew of familiar and unfamiliar experiences; it is the brain’s job to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar. familiar sights/sounds/ideas don’t demand as much energy or attention, and can elicit quicker and more graceful responses. thanks to familiarity a person can do many things at once, and even process relatively complex ideas almost completely in the background w/o having to bother the conscious mind.
new experiences by contrast demand conscious attention, so that they may be examined, understood, conceptualized, reacted to, memorized, learned. . the unfamiliar demands focus, greedily occupies consciousness.. confronting the new is a captivating, exhausting experience..t
alz keeps things new. after onset, the unfamiliar can never become familiar… everything is always in the moment, a rich, resonant, overwhelming feeling. ‘ive notice that i have a large amount of appreciation for whatever i’m focused on..it is very clear/real. look away and it is gone. look back and it is fresh and new.’ – laura s
equity as groundhog day.. everyone getting a go.. a new go.. a fresh start.. everyday.. to be 5/unscrambled.. again..
that’s what following whimsy does.. ie: rev of everyday life
this may be difficult for *caregivers to swallow because their own experience is often the opposite.. suffer thru the oppressive repetition.. they repeat the same mind numbing instruction over and over again. life threatens to become less and less fresh in the way that a *tour guide quickly loses any real enthusiasm and interest in the material she must repeat twelve times a day.. five days a week.. in the often deadening disheartening world of alz care caregivers wake up thousands of days in a row facing the same tourist wanting to take exactly the same tour..
so maybe we quit guiding/teaching.. and just be there together.. with fresh eyes..
still caregivers must try to understand both the frustrations and the unexpected benefits of having an unraveling mind.. what they may at first presume to be a uniformly awful experience for the victims can sometimes perhaps be peculiarly satisfying and even enriching – ‘a final intellectual and esthetic adventure’
who’s got the unraveling/unscrambling to do..? perhaps all of us.. we lack adventure/aliveness
(on going back in time) all this happens because relatively fragile memories from recent years have dissolved, leaving only much older more durable memories.. thru thousands of recollections .. while more recent are still relative impressions in sand
de kooning was documenting on canvas his own progressive forgetting… was he really a happier man? it’s entirely possible. alz can be severely frustrating to patients at certain periods, but can also leave its victims extraordinarily serene. the patient loses the awareness of what he has lost. he has fewer thoughts, fewer worries..life is not as complex/demanding.
the insidious creep of alz erases the self in such tiny increments that trying to determine any sort of distinct cutoff point approaches the paradoxical quality of a zen koan. what is the sound of fewer neurons firing?
one factor in sizing up the effect of alz on the artistic process is the distinction between mind memory and muscle memory (take practice practice practice.. but then also more difficult to erase) ..
one essential component of self that alz patients do not come untethered from early on is their own emotional reservoir.. from this vantage.. it almost seems de kooning contracted the right disease, .. the one neuro disorder tha would spare his ability to create as it ate away at most of the rest of his abilities.. perhaps even enhanced his art.. a creative impulse..
before alz.. de kooning had complained that his way of working had become ‘almost a habit’.. the disease.. to lose his ability to follow habits..t
how refreshing.. for all of us
andras szanto: de kooning is an excellent ie of what we call the ‘pro artist’ one who worked strictly w/in the context of other art. his was actually a very conceptual, aesthetic agenda, turning the art world upside down, demolishing certain assumptions that were in place up to the 60s.. if later in life, we end up w someone who is merely doing things in his head, then de kooning’s art, as he understood it, is gone. once the dialogue w the rest of the world is severed, it is impossible to speak of this as art w a capital a’
thinking about rheingold mom art law.. maybe capitalizing the a in art is a disease..
ugh to capitals..
in 1995 panel on this.. no single pov predominated.. except for the agreement that the works produced after 1989 could not be counted as ‘fully realized works of art’.. some said work had lost essential structure.. others agreed w garrels and moma curator robert storr that the work up to 89 stands on is own..
a yr after panel deliberated.. the neurologist carlo hugo espinel published an essay about de kooning ..’paintings are not merely product of someone who had simply retained colour perception and motor strength to copy.. even if at time hs confused his wife with his sister.. de kooning went on to creat.. .. his resurgence is a testimony to the potential of the human mind, evidence for hope’
and there was hope – not that de kooning might somehow recover from his forgetting, but that he could live serenely within it; that we could all live in harmony w the specter of senile dementia..
what do we call zombie ness of today.. perhaps that’s senile dementia..?
(on schenk thinking – and getting greatly ridiculed – of injecting vaccine/antibody.. like other disease treatment.. that would break down plaque.. but brain blocks most) .. schenk was very familiar with the barrier thru some recent research he had done – so familiar that he was mindful of something that most other neuroscientists seemed not to be: the blood-brain barrier is not perfect. for whatever reason, it has a tiny built in leak – about three out of every thousand unwanted particles get in..
schenk’s epiphany .. like so many other break throughs.. capped off yrs of hard work. schenk and colleagues had been researching alz aggressively since 87.. w no expectation of near term profit, they’d invested tens of million s of dollars.. schenk: it’s not by chance that we came up w the vaccine..
alz.. forces us to experience death in a way it is rarely otherwise experienced. what is usually a quick flicker we see in super slow motion, over years.. it is more painful than many people can even imagine, but it is also perhaps the most poignant of all reminders of why and how human life is so extraordinary.. it is our best lens on the meaning of loss
(on dna engineering in people..and ending up with not us).. the image of a man literally burning info in his struggle to forget is perhaps the most poignant way to marvel at memory and its gorgeous fragility. our limitations are our strengths..
as long as they are truly our limitations.. and not manufactured.. et al
perhaps it is true that with very slight modifications our brains and bodies could be made virtually invulnerable. but in escaping loss we would also be escaping life..
or.. getting it back.. ie: if loss we’re talking about was man made
for these humanized mice, at least, alz disease was now preventable.. this has to be taken in context of course: mice don’t really get alz so they can’t really be cures.. the mice how brain s had been artificially contaminate w plaques has now been artificially cleans of them; it seemed like a step in the right direction, but one had to remember that a disease that only exists in humans can only be cured in humans
dang.. thinking our creating alz is very fractal ish to humanizing mice.. we created the situation where it occurs.. we artificially contaminate us..
(on schenk revealing vaccine cure) .. there was a more fundamental question raised by this vaccine’s sudden emergence: why had dale schenk ben the only person on earth to think o fit? and why had he been laughed out of the room when he first shared his thought?
it was a variation on the recurring them of outcast scientist.. why was stanly prusiner vilified for yrs over his unusual – but as it turned out correct – idea about infectious prions? why was allen roses denied grants for follow up research to his important apoE discovery? why was ruth itzhaki ignored in her pursuit of herpes simplex virus 1? why was meta neumann ignored? alois alzheimer? why does the culture of science seem to so often punish the most inventive..?
science is ultimately a human endeavor, its language is uniform its methods are strict but the questions posed and the analysis applied are as idiosyncratic as love affairs and operas and football games. there is thus an organized incongruity. scientific discovery is and alway swill be an inherently clumsy matter as scientists attempt to fit the round peg of humanity into the square hole of objectivity.
the most adventuresome of these scientists, pushing against the limits of comprehension, are inevitably bruised by the friction. they are threatening existing power structure and perhaps more dangerously, jeopardizing peoples’ basic understanding of the world around them. t..they are casting doubt on ‘truths’ on top of which people have built their careers, and around which they have oriented their lives.
ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…].. a nother way
if a scientist named galileo suggests in the early seventeenth cent that the earth revolves around the sun, the veracity of that statement does not matter nearly as much to his peers as how its consideration may immediately affect their lives.. so galileo is forced to recant. that particular truth will have o wait.
the persistent challenge of science, and all edification, is to minimize the friction: to encourage the pursuit of new ideas while helping to sustain the integrity of people’s lives..
(at conf schenk revealed vaccine).. the paradox of these poster sessions, and of the entire scientific portion of the conference, was that amid all the data and ideas the disease was nowhere to be found. science has fragmented it into almost unrecognizable shards – cholinergic transmitters, vascular risk factors, nioctinireceptors…… the crowds had the patina of a large cohesive community, but was really a collection of superbly focused specialists – most of whom barely knew how to talk to anyone outside their constricted microfield.. in the name of science, good science, they were far too close ot he trees to see the forest.
it would take a trailblazer to try to show them the panoramic view. on the last day of the conference, in the last work of the poster session bazaar, the very final display stood out from the others. it had an entirely diff flavor: #1231 potential for rehabilitate in alz
standing beside #1231 was.. morris friedell.. struggling to maintain his dignity and his wits as alz slowly advance, he had made the long journey from out west to present his ideas to the community of scientists..
resonate w road trip to ny
until now, convos about his ambitious ideas had mostly been limited to fellow victims, caregivers, friends, family. his dream was to share them w professionals. he thought he might be onto something important. from his poster: … there is major potential for rehabilitation thru relearning activities using a greater number of simpler steps..
but his poster drew almost no interest.. researchers peered at it for a second and moved on. they didn’t know what to make of this unorthodox..t exhibit.. and seemed anxious to find something more technical and less ambiguous.. something closer to their own speciality..
there was, of course, no one at this conference – or any conference – who specialized in rehabilitating alz patients. that’s just why morris was there..
trip to ny.. et al
ie: remove physical clutter as path to get rid of mental clutter.. simplify
i was left with the impression that he was onto something important, that he did understand his own unraveling in a way i would not have ever imagined possible..t when i frist started to learn about this disease.
mech to listen/see deeper .. via 2 convos.. to idio jargon
in several years of research..the most thought provoking discussions i’d had about alz were with one of its victims..t
i realized that in a peculiar way, morris had rehabilitated me and my understanding of alz.. when i started.. i conceived of a book that might on one hand catalogue the horror of alz an don other relay the hopeful story of the race to cure.. but i also now realized that the story of alz is in some ways exactly the opposite of my original premise: it is a condition specific to humans and as old as humanity that, like nothing else, acquaints us w life’s richness by ever so gradually drawing down the curtains..only thru modern science has this poignancy been reduced to a plan horror, an utterly un human circumstance..
science of people.. wilde not us law
i migrated over several years time from morbid fascination and dread of alz to a new kind of peace and reconciliation..
olmsted (1880s): the further progress of civilization is to depend mainly upon the influences by which men’s minds and characters will be affected while living in large towns.. a city park must help the resident escape the devouring eagerness and intellectual strife of town life..t