Tagged with Brain

Music, the Brain, Aging, and Memory Diseases

We live with music throughout our lives — it surrounds people no matter what their age. Children, of course, love to sing at almost as soon as they are born, but music, even for those who are not musicians, is a part of the air people breathe. Interestingly, music appears to become even more important as people age and contributes … Continue reading

Can You Positively Affect Your Cognitive Aging?

Earlier this summer I attended an engaging lecture given by Charles M. Reynolds, III, MD, a professor of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In his talk, Brain Health As You Age: You Can Make a Difference, Dr. Reynolds discussed information aging and the changes that occur in the … Continue reading

The Gift of Time to Watch a Baby Grandchild Learn

If you read and write about aging — your own, your parents’ or older adults in general — you often hear people comment that as they get older, they feel that their perspective broadens. Aging adults often describe how, as they age, they have more time to observe, reflect, and  worry less about differences of opinion. I’ve discovered … Continue reading

So How Does Music Connect With the Brain?

I’ve watched in wonder as music changes people — kids, adults, people who are ill, elders, and caregivers. Of course, the movie Alive Inside visually documents how music can affect people, even those with substantial memory loss. But what exactly is happening in the brain? In the process of wondering, I came across an excellent video … Continue reading

TED Talk on Mapping the Brain — Be Sure to Watch

Adult children with a parent experiencing memory issues may want to listen to this July 2011 TED Talk, A Map of the Brain, by Allan Jones, the head of the Allen Institute for Brain Research.  The lecture explores the brain’s structure, they way different parts function, and current research, and it and includes some amazing images. I … Continue reading

Understand More About Age-Related Memory Loss

Just about everyone — aging parents and adult children — worry about memory loss, though many of us turn our angst into jokes about senior moments. This book looks interesting. While I don’t always learn cutting edge new information by reading these Harvard  health publications, I often find the chock full of information that keeps … Continue reading

Staying Sharp in Middle Age and Keeping It that Way

For weeks I’ve been intending to post a link to A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond, a New York Times article that appeared on January 19, 2012. The article, by Patricia Cohen, addresses mental fitness of  people as they age and  examines the reasons that brain power changes as people grow older. Especially interesting … Continue reading

Does Musical Training Influence Cognitive Aging?

Does musical training have any effect on the aging brain? Scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center asked this question. They wondered whether the experience of learning and practicing an instrument and the resulting sensorimotor and cognitive abilities might help a person much later when aging changes begin to occur. In The Relation Between … Continue reading

Aging and Decision-Making

No matter how old we are, making decisions and choices can be more difficult when we are presented with lots of options. As we age, we may take more time to make decisions compared to our children or grandchildren, and the situation can become a source of frustration for family members. Read Why It Takes So … Continue reading

Brain 101 for Seniors and Adult Children

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 … Continue reading

Aging Parents: Languages, Dementia, and the Resilient Brain

Read a Wall Street Journal article that describes how people who speak multiple languages appear to have brains that resist some of the early symptoms and brain damage of dementia. The article, Building a More Resilient Brain, describes how a concept called cognitive reserve, often well-developed in bilingual individuals, may enable the brain to continue working even … Continue reading

Dementia and Alzheimer’s: What’s the Difference?

At the Alzheimer’s Reading Room a June post, What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?, by Dr. Robert Stern, explains differences and clears up some common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A link at the end of the piece leads to the article’s original source, the ADC Bulletin, a newsletter publication of the Boston … Continue reading

iPad for Dad, #5 – Telephone Tutorials

If you like this post, read some of the other descriptions of our Father/Daughter iPad for Dad adventures — iPad for Dad, #1, iPad for Dad, #2, iPad for Dad, #3,  iPad for Dad, #4, iPad for Dad, #5, iPad for Dad, #6,  iPad for Dad, #7, iPad for Dad, #8,  iPad for Dad, #9, iPad for Dad, #10, iPad for Dad, #11, iPad … Continue reading

Dementia: Small Schedule Tweak, Big Result

In March the National Public Radio health blog, Shots, reported an interesting and delightful story, Midnight Munchies Keep Elderly Safer In NY Nursing Home. An employee at the Parker Jewish Institute, a nursing home in New Hyde Park, New York, started, quite accidentally, a midnight snack program for dementia patients in her unit who tended to … Continue reading