My father-in-law knew he would die when he reached 74. His father had died at 74, and so had his father before him. Dad died at 94, and only because he fell and broke his hip! People know they will go blind because one of their parents went blind and the disease was hereditary. Others know they have a strong likelihood of Alzheimer’s in their future because several of their previous generation had Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s for the same reason.
So what is the answer? Are genes a death sentence? Or should they be a wake-up call? Watch this very short clip of two women on an active railway bridge in Ohio, 80 feet in the air. And then we’ll reconsider the question.
In fact, the women lay in the middle of the track and were not killed! But why would you deliberately walk on a railway bridge which is supposed to carry trains?
Railway bridges and genes
Dr. Amen refers to this video clip and asks the question, “What were they doing on an active railroad bridge with no escape route?” He uses this as an illustration for people who know there are brain problems (or other health problems) heading for them because of genes in their family history. He suggests a more sensible response is to make better decisions to get out of the way of the “train”.
Remember the boiling frog story? Put a frog in boiling water and it will jump out fast. Put it in cold water and then bring the liquid slowly to the boil, and the frog will cook to death because it doesn’t recognize the danger.
Dr Amen points out how doctors order colonoscopies and gastroscopies, mammograms and PAP smears, cardiac stress tests and a whole host of blood tests to check for any pending issues. Yet they seldom look at the brain which is the organ that runs our bodies!
Check out that brain!
Throughout this series, we’re looking at various suggestions on how to improve our minds and health, but he suggests we should at least take a regular (annual) test to identify any early warning signs of memory problems. Here are two free options:
WebNeuro. This downloads an executable file to your computer which you can then open and work through.
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