Friday, September 02, 2005

Memory Flexibility, Enhancement, Treatment

Back from my evacuation exodus from New Orleans.

The new September issue of the American Psychological Association Monitor has as its cover story a series of articles about just how modifiable memory functioning can be. The full contents of the Monitor is available online.

Articles include one by Sadie F. Dingfelder entitled, A workout for working memory: "New research suggests that mental exercises might enhance one of the brain's central components for reasoning and problem-solving. In addition, there is an article by Rachel Adelson, Mending memory:
"Brain injury, such as that from an accident or stroke, or a memory-draining disease such as Alzheimer's, can leave people struggling with everything from cooking dinner to knowing their own children. What's more, as the number of older adults in America grows, so will the number with age-related dementia, boosting the prevalence of this frustrating and usually invisible disability.

As the need for intervention grows, U.K. neuropsychologist Barbara Wilson, PhD, an authority on memory rehabilitation at the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge and the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Ely, says that due to lack of specialists and insurance barriers, few are being shown how best to keep their handicap from hurting everyday functioning. Yet much more is possible. "We can help people adapt to, understand, bypass and compensate for their memory difficulties," Wilson says.

Anthony H. Risser | |

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