excercise for the brain?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by rummy, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    I saw a fascinating program over the weekend about a computer program being developed to help older folks maintain and regain their memory, even if they have dementia. They are having some real success with it. My question is, has anyone here ever tried any kind of mental therapy for their AD loved one? If so, did they have any success. Do any of you know of a program that exist like this?
    Debbie
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Debbie
    well I have heard of stroke victims re-learning things by training previously under-used portions of their brains.

    My own uninformed - other than by trying everything for Jan - view is that it may depend both on the areas of the brain being affected by the dementia in the person at the time, and also the stage of development of the condition at the time. Possibly also the age of the person, and exactly what memories are being maintained and regained.

    I'd be sceptical until I saw any proof of this on large numbers of people, and more detail of what exactly is going on, what is being attempted.

    I tried all sorts of things, both involving Jan's ability to learn, re-learn, adapt, etc and also in changing practices and behaviours, and none worked. Indeed all I did tended to confuse her more.

    If what you say is correct, then it will be great!
     
  3. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    Thanks Brucie,
    I'm always looking for that little ray of hope, we haven't tried anything like this with my Mom so I was just wondering if it had been tried. Wouldn't you think if the parts of the brain that are healthy can be retrainedd in stoke victims that the same would work for AD. I will have to ask the neurologist about this when we go in March.
    Thanks,
    Debbie
     
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Debbie
    Yep, I agree, chasing those chinks of light is always worth it! Who is to know whether something will work or not until they have tried it in their individual case?

    I have just written and rewritten my ideas in this post on the differences between stroke and dementia damage to the brain, and why the dementia damage is less able to be bypassed.

    Then I deleted both attempts. I'm not an expert or anything approaching one, so my supposition might be totally off, and I wouldn't want to mislead anyone!!!
     
  5. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    I would interested in hearing your take on the differences. I keep wondering why you can rebuild the brain after stroke but not AD.
    Deb
     
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Oh Debbie, you really shouldn't encourage me!

    However, since you have....

    I visualise the difference - perhaps someone who really knows can correct me - as a stroke causing damage to a specific area of the brain - that fed directly by the blood vessel that has become blocked. The amount of damage caused depends on how far down the 'trunk' of the blood vessels is the blockage.

    Dementia seems to cause more widespread, random, damage all around the perimeter of the brain.

    Where a localised area is damaged - as with a stroke - it may be possible for an adjacent, undamaged area to learn to take over some of the function.

    Where damage is more general, it may be difficult for the function to be reassigned, especially as the damage seems to affect more than the memory storage capabilities alone.

    Another thing is that strokes come as catastrophic incidents, permitting - often - some time for recovery between strokes, if there is more than one.

    Dementia - Alzheimer's, in particular, seems to be a continuing process, slowly - and sometimes not so slowly - over time.

    Dementia - vascular, is caused by mini strokes and thus takes on some characteristics of the stroke pattern, though often the vascular dementia is accompanied by Alzheimer's as well.

    I'm looking forward to hearing other views on this........
     
  7. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    That makes sense. I have read that the nerves of the brain become bundled with AD and have wondered if that has any relevance.
    I too am looking forward to others opinons/knowledge on this subject.
    Debbie
     
  8. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,976
    Toronto, Canada
    Ray of hope

    Debbie & Brucie,

    Why not investigate every possibility? At least you will feel you tried everything you could. We have to keep going on.

    Joanne
     
  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Joanne,
    in a previous post in this thread I said
    so I guess we are in agreement!
     

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