On dementia, the Beatles, scientific management – Letters to the editor | Letters

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The problem of dementia

Your wonderful chief and particular report on dementia (August 29th) have been most well timed. The concept that dementia will be prevented is pretty new. At a G8 assembly organised by David Cameron in 2013, a letter from 111 scientists in 36 nations said that dementia (together with Alzheimer’s illness) will be prevented, and urged the G8 to commit sources to this quest. As you identified, we now imagine that up to 40% of dementia is preventable primarily by public-well being measures, and but the sums spent on these measures are tiny in contrast with the billions of spent by drug corporations on the lookout for a remedy.

There won’t be a remedy for this illness since the mind is way too broken at the time of analysis. But there’s already proof that sure interventions, like these you talked about and as well as the consumption of sure vitamins, can decelerate the illness course of. There is an pressing want for governments to fund analysis into prevention since that is our solely likelihood of averting the large issues in the future that you simply recognized.

Emeritus professor of pharmacology
University of Oxford

Some 12% of ostensible circumstances of dementia are due to cognitive aspect-results of treatment, which is reversible. Others are due to melancholy, inflicting reversible pseudodementia. An usually missed sort of dementia is frontotemporal dementia (FTD), constituting 10% or extra of circumstances. It usually begins earlier in life than Alzheimer’s. Half of sufferers with FTD have the behavioural variant. Memory loss will not be a outstanding early symptom; as an alternative, sufferers might exhibit decreased judgment, poor drawback-fixing expertise, impulsivity, hypersexuality, lack of empathy, binge-consuming, decreased consideration span, psychological rigidity, perseveration and language issues corresponding to impaired syntax, leaving out phrases and a desire for partial phrases. Accompanying neuromuscular illness can lead to weak point in the legs and arms, and tremor.

Clinical professor of psychiatry
Georgetown University
Washington, DC

Without query, the “rising prevalence of dementia is a global emergency” (“The memory hole”, August 29th). But to say that “smoking less, exercising more and losing weight in middle age has reduced the risk of dementia” utterly misses the drawback: we’re outliving the evolutionary lifespan of our brains.

To assume America is on the verge of licensing a drug “to stem cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients” is like shopping for the magic beans of Donepezil, which can do wonders for recuperating pharmaceutical losses in drug improvement, however in the finish simply provides a whole lot of outdated of us diarrhoea. Most disheartening is your perverse conclusion that it will be a good suggestion to require “everyone aged 40-65 to pay a premium…as it avoids penalising the young”. Let those that need to stay out a decade of dementia in a nursing residence purchase what insurance coverage they need. I feel I’ll spend my financial savings having fun with a life I can nonetheless respect.

Director of neuropathology
UPMC Presbyterian Hospital

I’m 89. No one thought-about the results of medical advances. I take my blood-strain tablets obediently. I don’t need to have a stroke, however can truthfully say an environment friendly deadly coronary heart assault could be welcome. I’ve the proper to refuse life-extending medicine when I’m presumably deemed to be mortally ailing. It appears I would not have that freedom any earlier.

I’m not the solely outdated particular person unafraid of dying. Most of my life has been nice, however I’ve been right here lengthy sufficient and am fearful of turning into demented. Lots of people are certain to get dementia—God assist us. We have forgotten that demise used to come when one’s physique failed. It was meant to be a launch, each for the beloved one dying and their loving kin and pals, who are suffering watching them.

Olney, Buckinghamshire

So indicators of Alzheimer’s have been detected in Ronald Reagan’s speech patterns lengthy earlier than his analysis. An fascinating footnote to that is offered by Oliver Sacks in “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” printed in 1985. Sacks relayed the story of a ward of aphasia sufferers who have been moved by a speech made by Reagan “apparently, mainly to laughter”. He attributed this, not to syntax, however to one thing flawed in Reagan’s “tones and cadences”. Sacks concluded that his aphasic sufferers have been “undeceived and undeceivable by words”.

Bossier City, Louisiana

Influences on the Beatles

Although I’m removed from wearying of “Rubber Soul”, I agree that “Help!” will get inadequate love from snootier Beatles followers, a bunch by which I need to embrace myself (“Send for ‘Help!’”, August 29th). If the former was their departure album, they have been already packed and prepared to board with the latter. I’m shocked, although, that your article failed to level out that the title monitor highlights what was to turn into a defining attribute of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s work with George Martin: their liberal use of eclectic musical references. “When I was younger, so much younger than today” is sung to a tune from the intermezzo of the “Karelia Suite” by Jean Sibelius. Even Lennon’s grandfather was younger when that was written.


Another missed side of this album is Paul McCartney’s relatively fascinating lyrical sleight of hand in “I’ve Just Seen a Face”. Here the second line of the track is totally ungrammatical by itself, however makes grammatical sense when the object of the first line (“I can’t forget”) turns into the topic for the second line. Mr McCartney appears to have been the first lyricist to carry out such legerdemain, and the efficiency is so seamless as to be virtually unnoticeable: “I’ve just seen a face/I can’t forget the time or place/Where we just met.” The solely different track that I do know that consciously does the similar kind of factor is Love’s “Between Clark and Hilldale”.

Waterloo, Canada

Not Taylor made

Bagehot reported that the time period “scientific management” was coined by Frederick Taylor, an American management guru (August 22nd). Taylor is rightly related to the time period, since he popularised it. However, it was truly coined by Louis D. Brandeis, the “people’s lawyer”, who gained fame as a champion of customers towards monopolists. He first used the expression “scientific management” in 1910, in testimony earlier than the Interstate Commerce Commission, when it was contemplating requests by the railroads for fee will increase. Taylor then picked up on the expression. Brandeis went on to an extended and distinguished service on the Supreme Court.

School of Law
University of Edinburgh 

That “scientific management” bungled the algorithm for youngsters’s examination outcomes, verifies a maxim attributed to J.R. Searle, an American thinker: if in case you have to add “scientific” to a subject, it most likely ain’t.

Bloomington, Minnesota

This article appeared in the Letters part of the print version beneath the headline “On dementia, the Beatles, scientific management”

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