Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A post a day keeps dementia away

This is my first daily blog. An attempt, if one be needed, to ensure that I keep my brain working on a daily basis. I was stimulated to begin writing a daily blog by Dolores, who read somewhere that people who do more than 4 crosswords a week reduce their risk of alzheimers by 50%. As a scientist, I'm a little sceptical that it is the action of solving crossword clues per-se that prevent the clumping of amylo-proteins in the cortex, and would like to know if alternative forms of puzzle-grappling have the same effect. What if someone eschews the idea of playing with words and focuses exclusively on the popular, numerically-oriented, square-filling game known as Soduku. Will they accrue the same benefit?

The problem with these ex-cathedra statistics in general is that they make good headlines but rarely stand up to scrutiny. Ask yourself - why 4 crosswords, why 50%, how was this measured, how long was the follow-up, what are the caveats?

I don't do crosswords, or soduku. Am I doomed? I'm having trouble remembering things already, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone by writing a daily diary. On the one hand, I'll be keeping my brain active, and on the other I'll be writing things down to help me remember what I did / plan to do.

I'll confess now that it's unlikely to be daily, or even much of a diary, but at least I begin hopefully. It's going to be mainly my thoughts-of-the-day, probably reacting to some news item, particularly if it involves the government / business trying to convince us that modern life is good, when it is, in fact, often rubbish. The other blogs will keep going, if I remember to update them.


P.S. Dolores thinks I'm 'nuts' just for trying to do this. She has a point, and it's already got me worried. Am I actually going to drive myself crazy by attempting to prevent degeneration?

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