I have reported elsewhere on my involvement in a research project involving those who have a history of dementia in their family, and who have inherited a gene which is associated with dementia.

I fell into both those categories when examined in the Glasgow Memory Clinic in 2018, and was put on to a world-wide 8 year research project where we were given either a placebo, a low-dosage, or an expected dosage of a drug being investigated by the manufacturer/sponsor of the project.

No-one, except the manufacturer, knew who was on which treatment regime, so we did not know what to expect, from the mental tests which were carried-out on my grey matter on a very regular basis. This was accompanied by continuing thorough investigations into my medical condition, for which I was very thankful. I was treated as a healthy volunteer, which was encouraging.

I had enquired about what would happen if there was a finding world wide that those who had been anonymously on the ‘expected-dosage’ regime, were showing measurable improvement in their mental capacity. Since my investigating doctors did not know what my ‘regime’ was, they could not use their local findings to predict what was or was not likely to occur in my specific case.

Then came the phone call to call-back one of the research doctors, whom I knew well. ‘Cease medication’ was what I was told. Having trained in physics, I always had an enquiring mind, and immediately asked for the reason. I will, of course, have a full medical checkup in the near future, and will at that time have further access to the reasoning. Sufficient to say that it appears that an adverse effect had been noticed world wide in those who had been on the full-dosage regime, so all further supplies of the drugs, tests, and assessments were ceasing.

I may or may not be informed of my particular scenario, and any results they may have noticed in my cerebral responses over the time I was involved.

Whatever happens, I am disapponted that the pharmaceutical company, like several others would seem to have gone up a blind alley in the theory of dementia, or that the medication needs to be re-worked. I am also sorry for those on the project who have shown a marked decline in ability, and have been the reason for the cessation of the project. Finally I am sorry from a personal point of view, in that I felt that I was helping in some small way, to repay the pharmaceutical chemists who have helped keep my family as fit and healthy as they have been.

Should any other useful comments emerge, J will of course, pass them on.

Would I rejoin a similar project? Most certainly! If we are not prepared to make an effort to improve the lot of those who may end up with this kind of distressing condition, what kind of humans are we?

The luck of life

It’s been some time since I have attempted to amuse/entertain/inform/persuade/cajole fellow-bloggers with a posting here. I left you in the middle of Alaska when we were on a marvellous cruise trip from and to Vancouver. It was great and we arrived back home to get on with our semi-retirement, and to sort out the hours of video and hundreds of photos to recount the happy times.

………..and suddenly the news brought us news and photos of a liner beached just off Tuscany (a favourite spot of ours) and the loss of life, injury and terror involved. Whatever happened or caused it to happen may eventually be explained but things for those people involved will never be the same again.

How many times have we gone down a road where there had been a recent fatality, got on a plane after one of the same types had just crashed, or feared to get on a Pendolino train knowing what happened recently on the Edinburgh/London express?

I know that statistically travel is safer than it has ever been, and vast numbers of people traverse the roads, sea and sky of this earth of ours in perfect safety, but let us remember in our hearts those who set out on a journey and never arrived.j