Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Northwestern University assigns patients with Alzheimer's to medical students as mentors; a note on the "senior moment"

NBC News reported, with Maria Shriver, that 5.5 million people in the US have Alzheimer’s. Northwestern University has set up a “buddy” program where Alzheimer’s patients, still in milder stages of progression, act as mentors of first year medical students.
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One question that comes up is the “senior moment”, or “literal paraphasia”.  An example is trying to recall a word or name and not being able to recall it, until it pops into mind moments later.  There is an “About” explanation here. It is hard to predict if this process in normal aging can become progressive to the point that it interferes with daily life (frank dementia) or “Mild cognitive impairment” (MCI).   One tip:  when you have a dream, try to jot down what it was and keep a list (don’t post it online!)   That’s a good short term memory strengthening exercise.  

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