Why does the brain change after the diagnosis

How many times do you hear a carer or family member say, that the person the are looking after, who has a form of dementia or another,  refuses to eat foods that they have eaten for years previously 

I have often wondered why many of us start to eat different foods after our diagnosis, and also listen to different music.
This has always baffled me, and the consultants do not seem to understand it either.

Before my diagnosis, in fact going back to my wedding, and prior to that, if i went for a Chinese meal with my wife, I would always have a steak, and would never eat foreign foods.
Yet these days, I will eat curries, and what is more, the hotter and spicy they are the better?

I now also eat things like horse radish, mustard, blue cheeses, chutney's etc, things that years ago I would never have gone near to, let alone eat them. 

I confess that I simply do not understand why this has happened, and there are times when my wife looks on in amazement, and then always says something on the lines of, but you never ate these before?

My tastes in music have also changed over the last few years, and this has raised a few eyebrows in the family.

I was brought up with the Beatles etc, in the 1960s, and also loved classical music, which confused my father, because he never listened to classical music at that time.
He thought I was odd listening to this as a teenager, but it was soothing and relaxing.

I never went anywhere near to Rock music or jazz etc, as that was odd to me. 
Yet now my tastes have taken on things like Eric Clapton, Freddie Mercury and Queen, the Eagles, along with occasionally some things which would be classed as either jazz or hard rock.

My wife went away for the day recently, only to return seeing me listening to what she called hard rock.
It gave her a shock at the time, and looking back it's also a shock to me. But I was in my element

I will point out that music I like during the day, does not work at night if I cannot sleep, as a change of pitch can cause problems,
So my iPod has different music on it, especially for night time.

My politics have also changed, but that is a subject I will not go into for safety reasons, not that I have become a communist or anything like that, but this was a shock all the same.

So what causes these changes when you are diagnosed as having one form of dementia or another.

I know now that changes to eyesight, senses and hearing are caused by the brain not picking up the signals as they used to do, so is this the same with foodstuffs. 

Perhaps that's what causes these changes, and perhaps someone out there can explain it, because I have many friends living with dementia, who have experienced the same problems, yet none of us know why things change like this.


  1. Dear Ken,
    I am writing to you as both an Ambassador and a sufferer of Lewy Body dementia. You show so much insight in your blog. My husband has what they are calling early onset LBD but he is unable to take an objective view on his symptoms which are mainly seeing people in our house, garden and other places. It started around January although over the past 2-3 years he has hallucinated on airplanes. On returning from Australia when the long flight created strong hallucinations the 'people' started appearing. They seem to be there all the time and we talk about them as being a product of the effect of the proteins in his brain, like having a movie going on in his head or like a waking dream, which to a degree worked in that he could say, maybe they are not real, but look at what they are doing over there. However now within a few days he strongly identifies with the hallucinations and believes the electrics are a way someone is watching us. Is this early onset LBD? Can I keep trying to see if I can cut through the unreality with logical reality? I really have no one I can talk to. I really enjoyed your story about your change in tastes. I think it is really nice to have genuinely appreciated so many different cultural expressions and foods. With very best wishes,



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I always say that we may have this illness, but we are all so different.

This is my own daily problems, but I would gladly share anyone elses, if they send them in,

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