Posts filed under ‘Purpose. Connection & Spirit’

Memories Fade, But Emotions Remain

Image by ba1969 on Stock.Xchng One of the biggest concerns for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers is the worry that visits from  loved ones don’t matter,  that the memory loss robs them of the kindnesses, comforts and care that their friends and family try to offer them.   Patients hate the idea that they’ll lose the knowledge of those they love, and caregivers fear that their efforts are pointless exercises.

But a new study suggests that those visits and small kindnesses definitely matter – because even when the direct memory of the visit fades, the warm feelings from it remain.


May 7, 2010 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Staying Active: At Age 77, Alzheimer’s Patient Plans To Explore Loch Ness… By Canoe!

Loch Ness: Image by Someguy on Stock.Xchng I love people who refuse to give up on their brains. According to a story in Scotland’s Inverness Courier, Mr. John Forsyth, age 77, certainly seems to qualify as one of those fighting spirits.

You see, Mr. Forsyth has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. And yet, this May, he plans to spend a little more than 3 days paddling  his canoe around Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, about a 50 mile excursion.  He’ll be sticking close to the shore, hoping to get close to the native wildlife, and camping at night.

According to the Courier Article, he’s well aware of the risks, and  has said  “My problems could be the weather, the wind or the sun. I could get heat or sun stroke and there is also my friend Nessie!”  (more…)

April 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm 3 comments

"I Remember Better When I Paint": A DVD about the Arts and Alzheimer’s

I have a passion for creative expression and the arts, so when a reader (Hi Donald!) pointed me towards this trailer, I clapped my little hands with glee.  It’s narrated by the marvelous Olivia de Havilland, whose voice lends an extra layer of depth and beauty to the project.

The idea behind the film?  Creative workshops, museum trips, and classes that allow hands on artistic expression are being effectively used as therapies for patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.    The artistic process taps into parts of the brain largely untouched by  Alzheimer’s,  not only allowing the patients a means of expression, but also forming a bridge of communication with loved ones and caregivers.


March 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

Can Finding Purpose In Life Help Defend Against Alzheimer’s? A New Study Says Yes.

Image by Garrison Photo, bjearwike on Stock.Xchng If you look in the sidebar of this blog, among the keys to brain fitness is one entitled “Purpose, Connection & Spirit” but I’ve not written too much on the “purpose” part.  Purpose and meaning is a topic I feel strongly about – and I believe that finding and making life meaningful helps us to live longer, contribute more, and keep our minds clear and functional.

But I sometimes shy away from writing on the subject here.

Why shy away? I try to base the posts here on science, whenever possible, and there’s just not a lot of research being done on the cognitive impact of finding meaning in life.  There’s been research on how a sense of purpose can lead to longer lives, happier lives, better mental and physical health – but little that could directly tie it to brain fitness.

But a new study just came out, specifically addressing the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease, and feeling that our life has meaning and purpose – and they did, indeed, find a positive relationship.


March 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm 1 comment

Serving Your Community: Another Path To Brain Fitness?

Volunteer... it's good for your brain! (Cool little thought balloons by Ambrozio on Stock.Xchng) Seniors are frequent beneficiaries of volunteer organizations, from groups like Meals on Wheels, to home visitation programs.

But new research suggests new ways that older adults can benefit from the other side of volunteer efforts: offering their help to others through volunteer programs may help preserve and improve their cognitive function, and ward off mental declines.

So what’s this research?


December 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

12 Days of Brain Fitness Christmas

Thanks to ba1969 on Stock.Xchng, who provided the hat for my Santa Brain, and flaivoloka for the background.Forgive me this little indulgence… It’s Christmas Eve, and I couldn’t resist. Feel free to sing along, and/or throw things at me. Ahem!

On the first day of Brain Fitness
My true love gave to me,
Brain training For neuro-plasticity!

On the second day of Brain Fitness
My true love gave to me,
Two power naps,
And brain training for neuro-plasticity! (more…)

December 24, 2009 at 8:40 am 1 comment

Think Old Age = Poor Memory? Think Again, For Your Own Memory’s Sake

Rocking Chairs and Cats: Stereotypes of Aging (image by jbmclemore on Stock.Xchnge)Stereotypes about seniors and poor memory are cemented in our  cultural views –  so strongly cemented that even young people jokingly refer to misplaced car keys as “senior moments”.

But buying into these stereotypes may help make them reality, according to research from  North Carolina State University.

The study found that seniors who believe older adults have poorer memories and would perform poorly on memory tests did, indeed, perform poorly, while seniors who didn’t believe that aging and failing minds are connected did significantly better on the same test.


October 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

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About This Blog

A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness



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