When the Brain Stops Working

We were in a movie theater watching a long and boring subtitled foreign film when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t know where I was. Literally. I had been slumped down in my seat day-dreaming about sex and money when the realization flashed into my head like a light globe in a cartoon illustration: I’m lost. I turned to my wife, the perceptive Cinelli, and whispered “Where are we?” She whispered back, “At the Laemmle,” which was the …

Thanks, Internet, for the Memories

Age UK, a British organization that strives to help older people get more out of digital technology, is hoping to win financial support from Google’s Global Impact Challenge for what could be a revolutionary idea. It wants to help thousands of people in Great Britain reminisce about their past via the Internet, as a way of teaching them about the value of being online and how it can improve their lives and decrease feelings of isolation. And although the project isn’t …

Senate Aging Committee to Showcase Virtual Talking Dog

As you’ve probably noticed, congressional events increasingly seem to feature movie stars such as Harrison Ford and other celebrities as a way of gaining public attention for an issue. But at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Healthy Aging Forum, scheduled for May 23 on Capitol Hill, there will be an even more unusual guest: GeriJoy, the talking virtual dog developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. GeriJoy is specifically designed to give older people with dementia …

Ashley Campbell: Alzheimer’s Is Stealing My Father’s Memories

It had all the makings of a doleful country song – a heartbroken young woman watching her father’s memories slip away from Alzheimer’s Disease. Ashley Campbell told her story to the Senate Special Committee on Aging on April 24. Beside her sat her father, country music legend Glenn Campbell, who no longer tours because of the disease. They were there to press for a plan by the Alzheimer’s Association to find effective treatments by 2025. Ashley Campbell spoke of memories …

Brain Fitness: Four Strategies to Keep Your Wits with Aging

However magnificent one’s earlier accomplishments, getting older can be a humbling experience. Loss of peripheral vision and depth judgment, lessened hearing acuity, decreased sensitivity of taste buds, stiffened arteries, declining bone density, a less efficient heart pump, reduced lung capacity, wrinkling of skin, reduced muscle strength and, for some, loss of hair are a few of the physical changes that are biologically predetermined. The aging process also brings social and emotional losses. As we age, parents and older relatives die, …

The Sheryl Crow Effect: Learning About Benign Brain Tumors

She’s calling it just “a bump in the road,” but the news this week that singer Sheryl Crow has a benign brain tumor shocked her fans. It also made a lot of us wonder if, like Crow, those occasional memory lapses we suffer could indicate something more serious. Crow, a breast cancer survivor who recently turned 50, said she initially thought that  she was forgetting things — like the lyrics to her hit song, “Soak Up The Sun” — because …