May 2, 2019

"When he was just 30 years old, Daniel received a diagnosis... a rare form of Alzheimer's disease..."

"... a condition most common in over-65s, but which can affect much younger people too. 'Certain things happen every day, me forgetting what I've done, and also what I have to do,' Daniel says. 'It gets a bit overwhelming. Generally it's quite hard to be in social environments.' It was only when Daniel was diagnosed that he realised his father, who died at the age of 36, must have had the same condition. The news came just after the first birthdays of his own children, twins Lola and Jasper... There's a 50:50 chance, doctors say, that the faulty gene Daniel inherited will have been passed on to them too.... 'For someone of Dan's age, their lifespan is about four years from diagnosis. It's pretty scary to hear that, you just feel hopeless,' says his partner Jordan.... Daniel has joined a choir of people with dementia... The 18-strong choir is made up of people living in and around Nottingham, where McClure grew up, all of whom are living with dementia in one form or another."

From "The power of music: Vicky McClure's dementia choir" (BBC).


Mike Sylwester said...

A close childhood friend of mine died of Alzheimer's disease in his mid-fifties.

He realized he had a serious disorder when he went to a friend's home to repay some money. It turned out that he already had repaid the money on the previous day but had no memory that he had done so. No alcohol or drugs were involved in the situation.

This incident happened in his early fifties. He went to a doctor and eventually was diagnosed. During the following few years, his mental and physical conditions deteriorated, and he eventually died, about ten years ago.

MadisonMan said...

Singing cures headaches for me -- so it doesn't surprise me that it's great for Dementia patients too.

Fascinating article. I wonder if they're learning new songs.

MadBohemian said...

My previous wife had early onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Plus with Lewy Bodies.
She passed away two years after diagnosis at age 56. So very difficult to watch someone you love dearly deteriorate mentally and physically and not a damn thing you can do about it.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

As a music therapist I've making music in nursing homes for over 40 years, and the feeling you get when the music pulls people out of the haze for a while never fails to be deeply rewarding. What the neuroscientists say is that music gets more different parts of the brain going simultaneously than any other activity, so that the parts weakened by dementia get pulled along by the parts that aren't.

Michael K said...

We have a dog and house sitter who stays when we travel. His wife and he were both doing this, then suddenly last summer she began to fall and now is in a nursing home with severe dementia. Itn has been less than a year and she is about 60.

Wince said...

I wonder: does musical genre influence efficacy?

Either the type of music, or whether it's music that's new or familiar to you from your younger days.

If it's what's familiar to you, the most efficacious music would then tend to change with each next generation.

Let's hope there's a treatment if not a cure before that next transition.

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