Brain Donation Annual Visit……..

The year I was diagnosed, I donated my brain to the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource centre at Newcastle University. After all, how are we going to learn about the brain if people don’t donate…..? We can’t make a better world for future generations without research……

They are world renowned and have supplied tissue to ethically approved researchers who are looking for that vital clue….
It is part of the Brains for Research Network funded by the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

Each year I have a visit and yesterday it was June Edwards who came down to see me. She had three people to see in my area and I was her last so she was a little early which suited me fine.

She started by telling me how she’d read my book last week and had read it in one sitting! She said some very kind things and ended by saying that every trainee doctor and nurse should have to read it……..☺️

Then onto why she was really here……

The assessment part of the visit has been funded for a further 3 years by the Alzheimer’s Society and ARUK. Due to the extra funding there’s a bit more to do, but that makes perfect sense…..The extras include checking blood pressure, hand grip strength, a short walking test and reading a list of words.

The blood pressure is taken 3 times whilst sitting and 3 times while standing to check the vascular health; the hand grip is tested 3 times on each hand; the walking test is only over 8 feet and is timed, and finally I have to read a long list of words………..

But before all these extras there was the usual mood tests and then memory tests……..still didn’t remember the 3 words and still didn’t remember the name and address🙄

We went through what’s changed in the last year…..although I couldn’t remember what I could and couldn’t do a year ago – ha! So June just asked me questions about what I can and can’t do now.

The whole process must have lasted about an hour but was good fun.

If you havn’t thought of donating your brain, take a look at their website. Each region has it’s own Brain bank. Mine just happens to be Newcastle….…. If you live in the UK, the details are here:

https://www.hta.gov.uk/guidance-public/brain-donation

and I’m sure something similar will exist in other countries.

After all, we can’t change the future without research……..

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

5 thoughts on “Brain Donation Annual Visit……..

  1. Interesting to read your feelings about brain donation Wendy. I was asked if I would consent to my mum’s brain being donated (she was too ill to make a decision herself by that stage) and I refused. The logical, detached part of me would agree, of course, and ‘they’ can have any part of me which might be useful, but when it came to my mum, I just couldn’t. I still feel it was the right decision at the time, but I wish I had had the strength to agree … I’m really grateful for those who do. Research is key to sorting out a definitive cause and, hopefully one great day, a cure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You inspire me. I just discovered your book and your blog. You are amazing and wonderful!

    Last week I learned that my aunt has dementia. I suspect that her sister, my elderly mother, may also be in an early stage of dementia. I am 65 years old and I have been diagnosed with PTSD — Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sometimes, my PTSD symptoms cause me to feel like I have dementia, despite my Mensa tested 156 IQ.

    I think that I should donate my brain, too. It’s a little scary to think about, though! You are very brave.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy this is a great discussion and absolutely the right thing to do. Just think it could be so much more valuable to the scientists evaluating the brains if there was a mechanism in place to have some background on things such as diet and medications for them to compare along with the condition of the brains. There are so many variables that influence these things. Last week when I was at one of our local community hubs a lady, who has Vitamin B12 injections under the current NHS 3 monthly regime asked me if I thought there was a relationship to B12 and Dementia. Her reason for suggestingt is that as she gets closer to the 3 monthly injection, she finds her memory deteriorating and forgetting to go for the B12 injection. Dementia is a condition well documented as just one of the many symptoms of B12 Deficiency.

    Like

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