Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking

Welcome to the HABIT page for people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and program participants.  The HABIT Program is for individuals with MCI and their loved ones to learn the best strategies for adapting, coping, and living their best lives with MCI.

Follow the HABIT page to receive updates and information about adjusting to MCI and combating dementia. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, Aug 28, 2018 9:17am

Dr. Chandler Presents in San Francisco!

By Dr. Melanie Chandler, HABIT FL Director, @drmelaniechandler

San Francisco

Earlier this month, I presented research related to the HABIT Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking Program ® at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Conference in San Francisco. I was part of a panel of speakers talking about the use of technology to help with cognitive change in aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and dementia. Along with presentations geared towards the coolest new high tech systems to help folks with memory loss, I was asked to speak about “Low Tech versus High Tech” interventions.

What else was talked about?

It was really interesting to see the CEO of Posit Science, Henry Mahncke present on our panel about the science behind Brain HQ, the computerized cognitive exercise program that we use in the HABIT Program.  He stressed the solid research base that has been built in using the computer program to help benefit concentration, processing speed, and memory in the healthy elderly population.  Some results related to Brain HQ also recently presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference showed benefit to processing speed out to 10 years!

Dr. Adam Woods from the University of Florida presented on the use of neuromodulation technologies, specifically transcranial direct current stimulation, in helping enhance cognition.  This involves attaching electrodes and delivering electrical current to certain parts of the brain while doing cognitive tasks.  Although this area of research is relatively new, he did have some interesting results looking at how memory and learning performances were improved when this cranial stimulation was given.  Seems like something out of a Sci Fi movie – COOL!

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecomb from Washington State University presented on the fascinating work they have been doing up there for several years now.  Dr. Schmitter-Edgecomb has a long-standing relationship with the engineering school there, and they have done some fascinating work with Smart Homes that sense your movement and patterns to help monitor daily tasks at home. They also are working on a digital calendar and a robot “butler” who knows your calendar and helps remind you of things you may have forgotten!

What I had to Say

The bulk of what I presented on was the utility of still using some low tech strategies with individuals with MCI.  Specifically, I presented on our Memory Support System (MSS) calendar.  We did a study a few years ago where we randomized participants to get either our low tech calendar or the high tech Brain Fitness program.

In that study, we found that both groups improved in their reports of activities of daily living (ADLs) and sense of self-efficacy by training end, but only the calendar group significantly improved compared to a control group that got neither intervention.  Also, the calendar group continued to show improvement in self-efficacy out to 6 months after training.

Keep in mind, however, that that study looked at the impacts on ADLs and self-efficacy, not cognitive function itself.  We collected this cognitive function data in our recent PCORI study.  So, those analyses may show something different.  Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

Congratulations, Dr. Chandler! This report is just amazing on many levels. First, I feel like a poster child for the Memory Support System calendar. This "low tech" tool has improved our lives so dramatically that I'm a huge fan. Having said that, the "high tech" research is beyond exciting. I just love the thought of the Smart Home tied into a calendar that reminds you of things when you forget. I WANT this! Thanks so much for keeping us posted on how the research is being used and on what is going on in this whole field of cognitive changes as part of aging.

@debbraw

Congratulations, Dr. Chandler! This report is just amazing on many levels. First, I feel like a poster child for the Memory Support System calendar. This "low tech" tool has improved our lives so dramatically that I'm a huge fan. Having said that, the "high tech" research is beyond exciting. I just love the thought of the Smart Home tied into a calendar that reminds you of things when you forget. I WANT this! Thanks so much for keeping us posted on how the research is being used and on what is going on in this whole field of cognitive changes as part of aging.

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I also feel like the Memory Support Calendar works for us. We have also added a white board to our repertoire. Unfortunately Jan is progressing and despite keeping the calendar updated and close at hand she frequently forgets we are doing something shortly after reviewing. The white board is more readily visible and seems to be very helpful.

My husband and I are looking forward to paticipating in HABIT next January. Always looking for new, innovative technologies. We have been following the use of transcranial stimulation as promising. Are there programs/practices available that are using this treatment outside of a research study?

@liv4now

My husband and I are looking forward to paticipating in HABIT next January. Always looking for new, innovative technologies. We have been following the use of transcranial stimulation as promising. Are there programs/practices available that are using this treatment outside of a research study?

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Hi @liv4now, my husband & I went through the program a couple of years ago and were so impressed by what a difference it made to us on many levels. I think you will love it. We were in Jacksonville. Which location will you be attending? Best of luck.

@joancampy

I also feel like the Memory Support Calendar works for us. We have also added a white board to our repertoire. Unfortunately Jan is progressing and despite keeping the calendar updated and close at hand she frequently forgets we are doing something shortly after reviewing. The white board is more readily visible and seems to be very helpful.

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Hi @joancampy – the whiteboard is an excellent idea. I'm almost embarrassed that I never thought of that. Would you share that tip in our spouse/partner group? I think a lot of people would benefit and we might get some tips on other people's great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

@debbraw

Hi @liv4now, my husband & I went through the program a couple of years ago and were so impressed by what a difference it made to us on many levels. I think you will love it. We were in Jacksonville. Which location will you be attending? Best of luck.

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We are going to Phoenix.Glad to hear that you thought it was helpful. I am excited to get connected to this support group, as well. Thanks for your encouragement.

@liv4now

We are going to Phoenix.Glad to hear that you thought it was helpful. I am excited to get connected to this support group, as well. Thanks for your encouragement.

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@liv4now Good luck! I'll be looking out for you when you get connected to the support group.

@debbraw

Hi @joancampy – the whiteboard is an excellent idea. I'm almost embarrassed that I never thought of that. Would you share that tip in our spouse/partner group? I think a lot of people would benefit and we might get some tips on other people's great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Jump to this post

Done

@liv4now

My husband and I are looking forward to paticipating in HABIT next January. Always looking for new, innovative technologies. We have been following the use of transcranial stimulation as promising. Are there programs/practices available that are using this treatment outside of a research study?

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Hi @liv4now – I do not believe there are any clinical programs for transcranial stim for cognitive improvement. As far as I am aware, this is still a research only technology.

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