As befits someone of my age, I sometimes exhibit signs of CRS (“Can’t Remember Shit”) syndrome. That’s generally not a major concern, but every so often it causes concern. Is it just Plain Old CRS, or am I at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease - these days I try not to be snarky and call it “Old-Timer’s Disease” - is a frightening possibility for anyone who attains advanced age. Scary indeed: It is incurable, it is degenerative, and the average lifespan following diagnosis is about seven years. And early-onset Alzheimer’s, which is defined as a diagnosis before age 65, is unusual but not unheard-of.
I think of SWMBO’s late grandmother, who, while never diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, clearly began to develop symptoms of mild dementia toward the end of her life. She would do odd things, like lining a bread basket with toilet paper instead of the usual napkin... or put plastic dishes in the oven... or sprinkle a casserole with Rice Krispies instead of cornflake crumbs. And she would hoard toilet paper and aluminum foil. Speaking of which...
Since the 1960’s, there has been a hypothesis floating about amongst some researchers that there is a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s. The evidence is circumstantial, equivocal at best, and the supposed connection looks more tenuous every year. It is far more likely that age, environmental conditions, and genetic predisposition all play a role. And yet, I believe that aluminum may be a valuable diagnostic tool.
Submitted for your approval, Elisson’s remarkably effective way to differentiate between Just Plain CRS and Alzheimer’s.
If you hoard toilet paper and aluminum foil, you’re likely to be old... and you are definitely quirky.
If you forget where you put the toilet paper and aluminum foil, you have Just Plain CRS.
If you start wiping your ass with the aluminum foil and wrapping your leftovers with the toilet paper, you probably have Alzheimer’s.