New synapses

Posted by Debbie on Monday, March 15, 2021 - 16:13

My husband's diagnosis is now early onset Alzhiemer's disease at age 59. It has been quite a struggle dealing with this diagnosis as it means a shorter life span, as well as, rapid cognitive decline encompassing the entire brain. Recently I dove into learning more about the brain. I have learned that your brain can form new synapses from learning something new each day, by reading, by what I call " treasure hunts", and other things. My husband's "treasure hunts" consist of simple things like taking the grocery list and finding all of the items on the list, putting them in the cart, etc. ; all of the steps involved in shopping to create a new neural pathway (synapse). Because some people have cognitive reserves from higher education, learning new things each day, etc., they may have full blown Alzheimer's disease (AD) and show no symptoms. I learned this from Lisa, the author of " Still Alice". Lisa is a neuroscientist so, I have taken her lead to try to help my husband to have less memory loss due to AD by encouraging him to read and do our " treasure hunts". I also encourage him to participate in family activities to keep him engaged in here and now. He is 4 years in and is doing remarkably well. His therapist, Sean Alvarado, is pleased with his "progress". We have worked with Sean for over a year now and he is absolutely wonderful.
Anyway, just a little info on helping memory to stay alive longer.