Understanding Dementia

Dementia is progressive loss of cognitive function, marked by memory problems and confused thinking. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease, a fatal condition that affects more than 5 million Americans. Dementia most often occurs during old age, but is a more severe form of decline than that which accompanies normal aging.

Recent Posts on Dementia

The Color Yellow

By Greg O'Brien on March 02, 2015 in On Pluto
Yellow is also a color of angels, and in scripture it symbolizes a change for the better. My mom, who died of Alzheimer’s in a bruising battle with the disease, believed in angels. So do I, in the wake of my own diagnosis five years ago of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Yellow—derived from the ancient Latin “Angelus,” translated “messenger” or “envoys”— resonates with peace.

Blank Spaces of Memory

By Bruce Poulsen Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in Reality Play
Memory’s underpinnings have long been explored by artists and writers—from Klimt to Proust. Some contemporary works also deserve our attention.

What Do Scientists Know About Finding a Purpose in Life?

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Curious?
Providing information on the science of a purpose in life. heavy, beautiful, and of paramount importance

Oliver Sacks and Creative Arts Therapies

Many colleagues in the fields of creative arts therapies were sad to read Oliver Sacks’ recent and poignant essay in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times about the return of his cancer and his thoughts about death. And here's why his body of work continues to impact the fields of art therapy, music therapy, and other expressive therapies.

Traveling Through Time

By Dr. Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
Our ability to mentally travel back and forward in time gives us our sense of self and enhances our lives and coping abilities in many ways.

3 Speaking Tips From Oscar Winners

By Judy Carter on February 23, 2015 in Stress Is a Laughing Matter
Were the Oscars taken over by motivational speakers this year? Is John Legend the next Tony Robbins? Rather than giving mindless thank yous, this year’s winners shared MESSAGES. You can change the world in less than one minute, and speakers can definitely learn from this. Here are 3 tips for speakers from Oscar 2015.

Grow a Key Inner Strength

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Your Wise Brain
Use these four questions help grow inner strengths. 1) What's the issue? 2) What psychological resource - inner strength - if it were more present in your mind, would really help with this issue? 3) How could you have experiences of this inner strength? 4) How could you help this experience of the inner strength really sink in to you?

Good Reasons to Join the Mindfulness and Yoga Trend

By Temma Ehrenfeld on February 23, 2015 in Open Gently
You do have time to meditate--all you need is 12 minutes a day.

Flapping Tongues and Brawny Brains

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Talking Apes
Lifelong bilingualism is one source of cognitive reserve, but there are plenty of options for monolinguals, too.

Assisted Abstinence

By Howard C. Samuels Psy.D. on February 18, 2015 in The Beast Within
In the burgeoning field of medically assisted detox, there is a train of thought that says the only thing an addict needs is a physical head start against withdrawal -- but how do we address what happens in the addict's mind itself?

Why Do We Dream?

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Sleep Newzzz
Many scientists studying sleep and dreams believe that dreaming does have a purpose.

Love Was Just Around the Corner

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 11, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Just when Eva assumed love had passed her by it stopped to call and stayed a while. Perhaps the reason is that Eva has done superb work to strengthen her troubled family experiences and to build positivity and resilience. Join us as we stop in to see how she built her career and found a Valentine’s Day love just around the corner when she was 55.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
I have written a few times about the influence of sleep on thinking. High school students who stay up late perform more poorly in school the following day. A lack of sleep may cause you to mix together different memories that did not occur together. In young adults, sleep also affects the ability to learn new procedures.

Concussions Not Just A Football Problem: Are You At Risk?

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on February 06, 2015 in Brain Trauma
Every person’s brain has a different threshold for absorbing hits before causing a concussion. A number of factors influence how vulnerable your brain is to concussion, which is a brain injury that can lead to dangerous cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems. Here are those factors.

Criminality and Dementia

Criminal behaviors that begin in mid or late life may be a consequence of dementia. The types of crimes committed by persons with Alzheimer’s disease differ from those committed by persons with frontotemporal dementia.

The Low Legal Threshold To Say "I Do"

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on February 04, 2015 in Urban Survival
What does the law require of the mental state for marriage? You might be surprised to find out that most states require more mental capacity to sign an apartment lease than a marriage license.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

By Liza Long on February 02, 2015 in The Accidental Advocate
If we bring back the asylums, how do we make sure that our loved ones with mental illness remain part of our lives?

Is Diabetes Solvable?

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on February 02, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Health books are fascinating to the degree that you have a personal interest in the topic. Diabetes has been a fact of life for my family for decades, so this new book held out hope.

A Choice Between Chronic Pain and Dementia?

By Mark Borigini M.D. on February 01, 2015 in Overcoming Pain
Dementia is a much-feared condition. Patients want to know what medications that might increase the risk of this condition should be avoided.

Dementia of the Preoccupied

By Frances E Jensen M.D. on February 01, 2015 in The Teenage Brain
Our teens are experts at multi-tasking, but they aren't completely immune to digital distraction. The human brain has its limits. Reflecting as an adult, maybe how we deal with overcoming our own distractions - our "dementia of the preoccupied" can be helpful in thinking about how to guide teenagers.

Odd Couple House Mates

By Joan Ullman M.A. on January 30, 2015 in Uncharted Customs
Decades ago intergenerational living was widespread, ofen for economic reason. From the mid-1950s, nuclear families became the norm. Today's convulsive economic upheaval has seen a return of multi-generational housing situations. And as my recent experience with my grandson attests, while it may not be a familar phenomenom, it definitely has its pluses for young and old.

What's Benadryl Doing to Baby Brains?

By Jena Pincott on January 30, 2015 in Love, Sex, and Babies
A new JAMA study found a connection between dementia and nonprescription sleep aids (considered safe in pregnancy). The study focused on seniors, but what might these findings mean for the brains of fetuses, babies, and children?

Note to Self: How I Plan to End My Life

If you've "lost your memory" have you lost your personhood? Your humanity? This is a critical question in discussing ways to humanize dementia care.

Being in the Sandwich Generation

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on January 26, 2015 in Media Spotlight
For family members providing full-time care for someone with Alzheimer's disease or one of the other major dementias, dealing with the emotional, behavioural, and cognitive problems that only become worse with time is a major burden with few real alternatives. Tthe conclusions show that caregiver stress is a major problem for children of parents with dementia.

The Problem with an Asylum

By Barbara Schildkrout on January 11, 2015 in The Clinical Picture
4 of the top 10 psychiatric hospitals in America are stand-alone institutions. Does the geography and architecture of psychiatric care erect invisible impediments to the spread of new ideas? Steve Jobs thought about the architecture of innovation. So should we.

Good Consumers, and Bad

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on January 05, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Most of us are unaware of how relentlessly and extensively we are being watched and evaluated as consumers – and how dangerous our ignorance of that practice can be.

Tomorrow's Healing Today

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on December 29, 2014 in Beyond Good and Evil
Healing Around the World

The Truth About Loneliness

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on December 29, 2014 in Obesely Speaking
Loneliness damages your health, promotes your bad habits and shortens your life, but you do not need more people in your life to fix this problem.

Sleep, as We Get Older

By John Cline Ph.D. on December 29, 2014 in Sleepless in America
With advancing age there are changes in sleep pattern, sleep quantity and sleep quality. Sleep remains important for good health throughout our lives and understanding how these changes affect the sleep of older individuals can help people to maximize the quality and quantity of their sleep and thus their health.

After Joy to the World, Remember What the World Needs Now..

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on December 26, 2014 in Just Listen
To continue to bring joy to the world, remember that what it needs is love sweet love, it's the only thing that there's just too little of.