The featured blog is ‘The Tangled Neuron‘. This is a blog about a ‘layperson’ who’s father developed dementia and sadly passed away. It was a little difficult to know who the author is as there is no ‘about’ section other than that on the home page. This sits beneath a photograph of a lady comforting an elderly man which I am confident in saying is the author as she later appears in a photograph in the blog. The blog begins in November 2005 and we hear the harrowing tale of how her father has already passed away and the family are looking into the possibility of an autopsy. This is a very sensitive time and a narrative quickly develops when the author receives the results of the autopsy and queries the absence of comments on plaques and tangles in the report. Her father’s case is due to be presented at the case conference and she is invited to attend. In the interim, the neurologist requests some information on the grandmother’s medical history which prompts the author to obtain some further details and to include a photograph of her grandmother. We learn that the father had cerebral amyloid angiopathy and although there is a false start with the possibility of haemochromatosis this is later excluded.The author is conversant with the medical literature and selects a number of articles from medical journals, appraising them and putting them into the context of her father’s illness. The author also contacts and interviews a number of the authors of these papers and in the process takes on the role of an investigative journalist who is both extremely comfortable with and competent at understanding recent medical advances in the field of dementia. Along the way, the author does an excellent job of summarising many of the main areas in Alzheimer’s Research from the role of insulin and diabetes through to putative role of infectious agents and cholesterol in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease. There are helpful posts about the difficulties caregivers face such as this one on the illness burden in caregivers. The author also registers with a study for children of people with Alzheimer’s Disease and gives us an account of this process. There are various other topics which are all extremely relevant to dementia. Here for instance the author looks at a theory that amyloid may have a protective role while in this article she considers the role of cognitive rehabilitation. The ‘Tangled Neuron’ is an excellent blog resource for Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia while also showing us the way in which this affects people’s lives through the authors own at times poignant experiences.
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