I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, teary and red-eyed. The feeling of satisfaction having again purged my body of food over-rides the shock of my appearance. My stomach hurts from the forcefulness of the vomiting, I flush the toilet several times and spray deodorant to mask the smell. I then return to my office desk feeling slimmer and more in control. Of course, I am completely in control.
Whilst studying for my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, I had a vision that I would do a PhD. This dream saw me swanning around in a white lab coat, performing faultless experiments and producing groundbreaking data with a P value of <0.001. My publications would be globally recognised, and my career would be accelerated into the gateway of medical research. I would be lauded for my contribution to research and my expertise envied in the field. The reality is very different!
Ageing is thought to be the highest risk factor for neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia. Dementia is characterised by the progressive decline in cognitive functions and memory. The WHO indicates that worldwide, approximately 47 million people suffer from dementia, the most common form being Alzheimer’s disease; the predictions are that this number is set to triple by 2030. In an era of increased longevity, what can we do to minimise the risk of developing dementia, a condition for which there is presently no cure?