Before I start let me mention two national organizations available over the web that deal specifically with Alzheimer’s Disease. Diseases of the mind are horrible things to witness as they rob us of the one attribute we most cherish: our humanity. When a person’s mind slips, when they can no longer interact with the world around them, they are isolated from everyone and everything they hold dear. They are stripped naked and made to suffer with the inadequacies of an infant yet the needs of an adult. Terrifying need trapped inside an infantile existence. Horrid.
- Alzheimer’s Association – Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association advances research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America – The mission of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is “to provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families-through our member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.”
Everything we do in a day is tied to our memory. We can make it to the bathroom because we remember where it is located in the house. We can get out of bed because we remember how to move our legs and body. When we forget, we forget everything that makes us function. Modern Research has thus taken the approach of focusing on Human Memory and its malfunctions as the path to cure Alzheimer’s Disease. But I have a different theory I hope some Researchers will follow.
I call it Human Forgettory, but what it really is is our mechanism for discarding or forgetting events and memories that are of no real import. We might remember that an event of a certain type occurred, but we forget each incident. This function is important so that we don’t become “cluttered” with the massive number of memories that do not contribute to our survival or function. After all, it does no good to remember each and every time you got a paper cut, but it does help to remember they can happen. Remembering only the possibility and forgetting each incident keeps us safe without making us carry around tons of useless baggage.
Alzheimer’s Disease – Overactive Forgettory
My theory is that Alzheimer’s Disease is more a case of an over-active Forgettory and less about a malfunctioning Memory. There are many known biochemical processes that take place as we sleep, and sleep does seem to be the time of our lives when we do our most forgetting. Perhaps medical Science and Alzheimer’s Disease foundations should investigate how the Human Fogettory function of our minds affects the disease.