Sunday, March 16, 2008

Noise Circuit - The Beginning

Who, What, Where, Why, When, How?

I've spent over 20 years looking for ways to improve my memory & concentration. I fear I'm a candidate for Alzheimer's Disease and would like to proactively study brain chemistry in efforts to avoid or supress it as much as possible.

To begin, I thought I'd provide some biographical background so that we can baseline my situation. This will allow you to compare your story with mine and identify similarities or differences.

General Overview: I was born in 1966 and grew up loving sports. I have and undergraduate in Engineering, a Master's in Engineering and an MBA. I'm not a doctor or PHD (yet!) ;-), but perhaps this study will provide more learning than any PHD program that studies memory or Alzheimer's. My ethnic background is primarily Hungarian with some German (last name is German) and a little French.

Current Memory state: I will take a test to document my memory as I begin the study. In general, I find that I have a very very difficult time remembering names and words to songs. In fact, sometimes if I watch a movie, a year later I can watch it again and it seems almost like a new movie!

Nature / Personality: I believe I'm naturally more of an easy going, laid back introvert that likes to dream and come up with ideas. In my first Myers-Briggs test (15 years ago), I was described as an INTJ. But, it might seem like astrology - I think I have a little bit of everything, just depends on the situation, my mood, etc (in general, I think they got it right). I will update my Myers-Briggs personality profile during this Noise Circuit study.

Any suggestions or links as to what test I should take? Please let me know, I'll take it for baseline purposes.

Physical: There was a soccer ball in my crib. What does this mean? Well... I grew up playing soccer and I've been wondering if this has played a part in my memory deficiency. Why? Well, my dad and I would always "head" the ball...we would play games in the pool around this. I loved it. But, could heading the ball in soccer cause brain injury? Did I shake things up too much! Would the brain naturally heal and recover - especially for a growing youth? I stopped playing soccer at the age of 14 due to a knee injury (so much for my soccer career!). So, it's been about 27 years since active head trauma. I should also mention that I've also had several concussions as a result of soccer, hockey, skateboarding, snowboarding, high diving, climbing trees. Actually, during a 3 meter diving incident, I seriously injured my right eardrum (and had received one of my concussions). I estimate I have about 50% hearing in that ear.

Health: I've been fortunate with the other aspects of my health. I workout almost daily (cardio, pullups, legs). The wonderful thing here is that when I workout I usually read... I've noticed that my brain function improves dramatically from when I start cardio until I end cardio. I find I come up with my best ideas immediately after a 45-60 minute cardio workout. Other studies seem to support this finding. Recently I completed my MBA while doing most of my reading for it on the treadmill...I graduated with a 4.0. :) So, perhaps there's something to this!

Diet: My diet has fluctuated over the years. After having a kidney stone at the age of 25, I went on a WATER kick... I began drinking approximately 1 gallon a day. During the last 5 years, I've dramatically cut back (not on purpose...I've just been bad!) I now consume approximately 1/2 gallon per day and drink too much DIET PEPSI. I rarely eat breakfast. I usually go out for lunch (Jimmy John's, Thai food, Pot Belly's, Blimpies, Chicken Shack are my favorites). Dinner is often pasta dishes, chicken, pizza, salads, chinese, thai or mexican.

Vitamins: My original experiments involved looking for Acetylcholine or Choline sources. In that discussion on in 1988, I first learned about Choline, lecithin and the "blood brain barrier." As stated at that time Steve Dyer from Harvard indicated "None of these dietary treatments have been a smashing success, although certain persons with Alzheimers Disease and Huntington's Chorea have shown some improvement." Craig Werner from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine suggested: "Two other "drugs" that increase acetylcholine in the nervous system are Malathion and Parathion, which are not used as drugs, but rather as industrial insecticides. However, as far as increasing Acetylcholine levels, they are quite "efficient," probably the most efficient in general use." Uhhh... INDUSTRIAL INSECTICIDES???? ...I don't think I'm going to be taking any of that! ;-) I ended up taking Phosphytidyl Choline for a few years, but don't think it helped. (I didn't keep any data at the time - LIKE I WILL THIS TIME!) :)

Childhood: Mercury was not known to be so harmful in the 1970s. I can remember frequently dipping my hand in a beaker full of mercury. I'd keep it in my closet laboratory. (I really loved chemisty) I played a lot with mercury. Some have correlated heavy metals with Alzheimer's.

Is there anything else I should document? Please reply/comment and let me know...I'll be sure to add it if you think it would help with the baseline.

1987 ish
Alpha Waves
Delta Waves
Dream State
Mind Rhythms
Circadian Rhythms

relation to music BPM (beats per minute) trance / hypnotic state
Self Hypnosis

Relax Mate (relaxmates)

Ears / Balance / Focus

Electronic Industrial Music

(to be continued)

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