The Wheeler Centre
View all episodes in this series
Dementia and Optimism: Christine Bryden and Paul Bryden
Christine Bryden was a science advisor to the prime minister and a divorced mother of three when she went to see a doctor about the severe migraines she was suffering. Shortly after, at the age of 46, she was diagnosed with early-onset dementia.
That was in 1995. Two decades since her diagnosis, Bryden has written several books, been elected to the board of Alzheimer’s Disease International, travelled the world as an advocate in the Alzheimer’s movement and even remarried.
The progress of Bryden’s condition has been remarkably slow, allowing her to describe the day-to-day experience of dementia to professionals, policy-makers, carers and other people living with the condition. Her successful efforts to retain as much cognitive function as possible give credence to the idea of neuroplasticity and the possibility that the brain can rewire itself.
Bryden discusses her latest book – Before I Forget, a memoir detailing her early life, her diagnosis and her advocacy work – as well as her tips for retaining brain function. She's joined by her husband, Paul Bryden, in conversation with Natasha Mitchell.