Not Slaves to the Synapses
So conditioned have we become to the materialist construction that we find it surprising when somebody suggests that our bodies — even our brains — are something more than time bombs waiting to betray our spirits:
A surprising study of elderly people suggests that those who see themselves as self-disciplined, organized achievers have a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who are less conscientious.
A purposeful personality may somehow protect the brain, perhaps by increasing neural connections that can act as a reserve against mental decline, said study co-author Robert Wilson of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center.
Astoundingly, the brains of some of the conscientious people in the study were examined after their deaths and were found to have lesions that would meet accepted criteria for Alzheimer’s — even though these people had shown no signs of dementia.
“This adds to our knowledge that lifestyle, personality, how we think, feel and behave are very importantly tied up with risk for this terrible illness,” Wilson said. “It may suggest new ideas for trying to delay the onset of this illness.”
Previous studies have linked social connections and stimulating activities like working puzzles with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. The same researchers reported previously that people who experience more distress and worry about their lives are at a higher risk.
It’s almost as if our brains are interactive material vessels for minds (some might say “souls”) that aren’t merely a byproduct of biological development.