A laboratory for learning awaits us here.

What’s Out There?

In a first of it’s kind research project called the Nun Study, a convent of nuns donated their brains to science to further the study of Alzheimer’s disease. Mentally active until death these women showed no visible signs of dementia despite brain scans with advanced chemical changes that cause Alzheimer’s.

My wife and I are very interested in becoming active participants in the fight against cognitive dysfunction and memory loss in senior communities with particular attention to stronger and lasting family bonds.

Without any formal clinical training, we decided to begin a chess initiative with young children in Atlanta in 2010 working with an International Chess Master in after-school programs.  Although we have found numerous accounts of research conducted with kids to strengthen cognitive function, we are curious to learn what independent research exists in the senior community in a chess learning environment.

The Nun Study from the National Institute on Aging is what we have to date, so we would like to propose an idea.  First, has your research center collected any relevant data in a clinical setting that supports the need to institute a chess learning program in the senior community?  If not, would your center have a desire to do so?  If so, how would the center garner willing participants to conduct a study like this?

If you see some potential here, or at least have some interest in a study on the topic of chess learning as a form of holistic therapy, feel free to contact me to discuss some possibilities.  We would like to become members of the Georgia Area Therapeutic Recreation Association as a valued source for information sharing among professionals working in Georgia.

The Nun Study of Aging and Alzheimer's Disease is a continuing longitudinal study, begun in 1986, to examine the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. David Snowdon, the founding Nun Study investigator, originally began his research at the University of Minnesota, but moved it to the University of Kentucky in 1986. In 2008, with Dr. Snowdon's retirement from the University of Kentucky the study returned to the University of Minnesota. Similar environmental influences and general lifestyles make the nuns an ideal population to study, and although it is ongoing it has yielded several findings.

The Nun Study of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease is a continuing longitudinal study, begun in 1986, to examine the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. David Snowdon, the founding Nun Study investigator, originally began his research at the University of Minnesota, but moved it to the University of Kentucky in 1986. In 2008, with Dr. Snowdon’s retirement from the University of Kentucky the study returned to the University of Minnesota. Similar environmental influences and general lifestyles make the nuns an ideal population to study, and although it is ongoing it has yielded several findings.

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2 responses

  1. Greetings Irene — Wikipedia tells me the word ombudsman means “a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between either the state (or elements of it) or an organization, and some internal or external constituency, while representing not only but mostly the broad scope of constituent interests.” The passage went on the say that making a complaint to an ombudsman is usually free of charge..delightful 😉

    Like

    August 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  2. Thank you for liking one of my earlier articles on my blog: http://www.babyboomersandmore.com. I am so impressed by your efforts to involve the senior community in the cerebral game of chess! I am a volunteer certified advocate/ombudsman for vulnerable adults living in senior communities in Washington State and marvel at how “with it” the residents become when involved in something engaging, e.g., bean bag baseball, playing chimes, painting as a part of the Seniors Making Art project. It’s also very heartwarming to me that the younger set – that’s you two – are focused on the elderly. I feel that EVERYbody benefits from an inter-generational approach to helping ones greater local community. Thank you for your stellar efforts!

    Like

    August 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

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