It's no secret I love riding bikes. I rode bikes to school, after school, on weekends. I probably spent more time riding bikes than walking in my formative years. It was in my school years that I became aware that something wasn't right with mum. After a period of time including miss-diagnosis, mum had early on-set dementia.So what is this Mental for Miles thing? I'm doing what I love the most, riding bikes, for someone I didn't get the chance to love the most. So do read on so you can look out for your mates and pick up on the early signs of dementia, to better understand what is happening and how to be a legend and support rather than attack them! For they know not what they do.
It's highly probable in this lifetime you will directly or indirectly, via friend or relative, know someone who has or will get early on-set dementia. The age of on-set is typically in the 50s or 60s but can be as young as 30! Yes, thirty. The disease is sometimes called frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTD) and was first described 100 years ago by Arnold Pick and was previously referred to as Pick’s disease.
So what happens is certain brain cells in the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain deteriorate. When the initial damage is in the frontal lobe (called behavioural-variant FTD) the main changes are in personality and behaviour. Individuals with damage predominantly in the temporal lobe lose the ability to speak or understand language. The life expectancy after diagnosis is 10 years on average, so yes, that means many years of that loved one slowly disappearing and at the end simply existing. There are definitely better ways to go.
Mum had the behavioural-variant FTD. What does all this science talk mean? Very simply, forgetting social behaviour... cues you learn. You revert to childlike behaviour, demanding and raising your voice to get your way or opinion across. You don't forget where things are like Alzheimer's for example, but forget how to be you. One thing which has been brought out in research for a few types of dementia, which you can keep a keen eye for is an inability to detect sarcasm, where someone will take what you say at face value. You might say, oh wow.. how great is the lawn looking! When it in fact hasn't been mowed for months and is a raging out of control. They won't get the joke, the vocal inflection, just the lie.
Very little is known in this field at the moment. So! i've created a fundrasing and little mini-knowledge base page linked at the bottom, where I'll post little chunks of easy to read information. You can also support Neuroscience Research Australia, they do great work, throw them some money if you will, at a minimum please educate yourself with some knowledge! I have got you started with a few points so you too, can lookout for your mates. There is a few more at this article: http://www.prevention.com/mind-…/signs-you-may-have-dementia
Please also spread the word by sharing this page and the information you have learnt with your friends and family, it means a lot!
Why $2700? The route I'll be riding is the longest off-road mountain biking route in the world, solo! From Banff Alberta, Canada to New Mexico USA. 2700 Miles I'll be riding, $1 dollar for each! :) Ill be leaving to start the journey in Canada May 16 until August 1, 2016.