I understand it better now. We had a way of looking at and talking to Mom as if she were simple, as if the intelligent being who we knew her to be had somehow vanished. We couldn’t understand how she could get so many things wrong. We’d act incredulous that she couldn’t comprehend the most basic things. This happened years before her diagnosis, before we’d entertained the notion that perhaps these memory lapses were a prelude to Alzheimer’s. Except that now I understand. I un
Why are women twice as prone to Alzheimer’s as men? That’s the question that Dr. Lisa Mosconi, Associate Director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic of the Department of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, decided to investigate. There are many factors that could be involved, one of them being women’s longevity over men, meaning that this is a disease that affects mainly individuals in their 80s and up. Perhaps men die before experiencing the changes in their brain.
The day my brother Simon left, Mom threw a temper tantrum when she and my dad were out enjoying an afternoon stroll. She used the foulest of language towards him and refused to walk home with him. Daddy managed to convince her to follow him, but her anger persisted all the way into the apartment. Was there a connection between Mom’s outbursts and Simon’s departure? There’s no real way to know, but perhaps Mom was telling us how much she misses him as best she can. Not that sh
We’ve been watching National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series, “Brain Games.” With interactive games and hidden cameras, this show reveals how brains process information related to topics like stress, addiction, competition, food, trust and language. And, of course, memory. One episode on memory, “Remember This,” starts out by stating that memory is faulty. Almost immediately, we become witnesses to—along with about 20 other unsuspecting participants in the film—a mugging i
“Was I there, too?” Mom asks as my dad tells us about a concert they attended Monday night. “Of course,” he responds. “I don’t remember,” Mom replies. “I don’t even know if I’m here or there.” We laugh, because in context, it’s funny. What it means, however, is that Mom is aware of her memory loss, of her dislocation from time, of her inability to live beyond the moment. We’ve accepted this about her. And in fact, as Mom’s abilities decline, some things are easier. Mom doesn’