Hobbies and Delay of Memory — Woodwork Crochet Reading TV Computer Games Quilting Counted Cross Stitch Knitting Beading Art Collecting

Be careful with this one and please do not LAUGH


Standing guard at a NATO installation in South Korea, I saluted salutesalvarmyofficers from all around the world. But one officer, dressed in a regal-looking black uniform, always seemed embarrassed by it. One day as I was putting right hand to forehead, he stopped me.

“You really don’t have to salute me,” he said. “I’m in the Salvation Army.”

Stanley Pierkowski

Yesterday was one of those discouraging days. Not only did I feel foggy, but I had difficulty coping with the body, hand and neck tremors. The Dr. told me to lie? lay? down whenever I get tremulous. But it sure didn’t work yesterday. They wear me down and I get fatigued. It was a very frustrating day. I’m beginning to have more empathy to others with chronic tremors. I know it’s part of LBD, but part of me wants to get tested again to see if I have an an underlying thyroid problem. Maybe I’m just grasping at straws.

Speaking of tremors and the article below, it is interesting. I’ve done crafts all of my life. If it’s true, then I shouldn’t be having any problems. I’m working on a project now that involves counting in multiples of 12. I can’t believe I’m actually having trouble counting at this level. Appalling, just appalling.

Why hobbies such as knitting may delay memory loss

Engaging in a hobby like reading a book, making a patchwork quilt or even playing computer games can delay the onset of dementia, a US study suggests. Watching TV however does not count – and indeed spending significant periods of time in front of the box may speed up memory loss, researchers found.

Nearly 200 people aged 70 to 89 with mild memory problems were compared with a group who had no impairment.

The findings are to be presented to an American Academy of Neurology meeting. The researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota asked the volunteers about their daily activities within the past year and how mentally active they had been between the age of 50 to 65.

Those who had during middle age been busy reading, playing games or engaging in craft hobbies like patchworking or knitting were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment. In later life, those same activities reduced the risk by between 30 and 50%. Those who watched TV for less than 7 hours a day were also 50% less likely to develop memory loss than those who spent longer than that staring at the screen.

This study is exciting because it demonstrates that ageing does not need to be a passive process, said study author and neuroscientist Dr Yonas Geda.

By simply engaging in cognitive exercise, you can protect against future memory loss. Of course, the challenge with this type of research is that we are relying on past memories of the participants, therefore we need to confirm these findings with additional research.

Sarah Day, head of public health at the Alzheimer’s Society said: One million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years so there is a desperate need to find ways to prevent dementia. Exercising and challenging your brain – by learning new skills, doing puzzles such as crosswords, and even learning a new language – can be fun.

However, more research, where people are followed up over time, is needed to understand whether these sorts of activities can reduce the risk of dementia.

The poll on brain games will close on March 8th. If you haven’t voted yet, click here.

Warmly………David

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Odds and Ends

Yes……..the series puzzle from the other day threw me for a loop too! I spent too much time trying to figure it out. When I realized what the answer was, all I could think was “What a simple solution. It never occurred to me to look at the diagonal lines.” All along I was trying to fit the blocks together and couldn’t make any sense of how there would be a next one. But it did provide good brain work even though few of us got it right!

That trazodone drug is good stuff. I’ve now had 2 pleasant nights with good sleep along with good dreams. I’m impressed with it. Now I understand why so many of my former patients slept well with it. It makes me wonder why I never thought about having someone prescribe it for me in the past! And I’m not having any side effects. Now if I could just stop shaking, especially my head whenever I use the computer…..

I spent yesterday watching movies, football along with knitting and crocheting some pot scrubbers. A nice relaxing day.

I find myself thinking about all the readers of the blog. I wonder how many of you have dementia, how many are caregivers, how many are friends and how many others who aren’t in these categories. I think about you many many times. I read the comments……..the emails……..trying to put faces to the names which is impossible. I think about what your days are like. The good moments. The tough times and what the caregivers must be going through. The hardest part for me is whenever I read the Yahoo dementia group emails. The heartaches that you all go through. I find myself going into denial when people discuss their loved ones going into a nursing home or other facility. I just can’t go there in my head. And, unfortunately, I don’t respond to those emails. That’s a problem I’ll have to work on.


10 Tips for Keeping the Brain Sharp Into 2009 — Click here.


Recylced Plastic Bags: Crochet a Snowflake

January is Alzheimer’s Month in Canada.


Fact or Fiction

Chemist Louis Pasteur, the first to discover that germs caused disease, rarely shook hands.


True. Pasteur, regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, also created the first vaccine for rabies.

Have a great day………David Thomas

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