If someone in our families experiences a brain disease — depression, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s — the illnesses transport us into the complex world of neurons, plasticity, neurotransmitters, serotonin, hemispheres, and much more. Despite all that is known, the large and complex organ that determines who we are and how we think is a foreign universe. Even the experts — neurologists, psychiatrists, pharmacologists — acknowledge its many mysteries.
As we age, we are increasingly aware of people suffering from strokes and dementia. When brain illness strikes, family members have a lot to understand, but we also learn that fixing the brain is not always possible. Anxiety and fear often arise, so quality information becomes even more critical.
This week I discovered that Laura Bartels, like me a teacher, is blogging over at Neurons Firing. This blog has many compelling posts and pages. One of the most interesting sections is Brain 101, a compilation of posts and well-researched links about the brain, many juxtaposed with real-life experiences. Laurie’s choices reflect her deep commitment to lifelong learning, her comfort with instruction, and her family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
While lots of medical information sites, such as MedlinePlus and The National Institute for Stroke and Neurological Disorders (NINDS) have wide-ranging and well-written information, do check out Neurons Firing with lovingly written posts and well-vetted links, brought together by a veteran teacher who understands how people learn.
I wish I had discovered Laurie’s site in the three years after my mother-in-law’s stroke.