On January 19th, Dr. Chandler presented to a group of neurologists, pathologists, neuropsychologists, and others from all over the country in a conference geared towards advancing the science in MCI. She spoke as part of an afternoon session on rehabilitation strategies in MCI. She provided a broad overview of the Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking Program at Mayo Clinic. Our program includes multiple components including a compensatory cognitive rehabilitation component centered around teaching our patients how to write things down in a structured, organized, and detailed way into a memory notebook that is portable. For more information from a patient's perspective on this rehabilitation approach, I would encourage you to take a look at a prior post from one of our HABIT alumni in which she describes how she uses her HABIT calendar on a daily basis.
Other presenters at the Symposium discussed how using mnemonics may help in early MCI. For example, if you have trouble learning new names, try to associate something with that person's name. Perhaps they remind you of someone else you knew named Bob; try to picture them together. Or, imagine Rosemary smelling like the herb. Things like that. Those sorts of mental tricks can be quite helpful, and even make some changes in parts of the brain related to concentration and focus!
If you want to learn more about these other researchers working in MCI rehabilitation, do an internet search for the works of Benjamin Hampstead, PhD; Krish Sathian, MD; Sylvie Belleville, PhD, and Michael Marsiske, PhD (from left to right; all pictured with Dr. Chandler, second from left, above).
Thanks for helping spread the word about HABIT and treating MCI, Dr. Chandler!