Animated videos devised to help keep brain young

Videos contain in information about how to reduce memory loss and to recognise onset of dementia

A set of animated videos devised by the Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives (Neil) research programme at Trinity College Dublin, contain information about dementia, inclusding how to make dementia patients feel included. Video: Neil

 

It is a good thing for an old dog to learn new tricks. It can keep the brain healthy and help to delay symptoms of dementia as you age.

The top three tips for keeping your brain young are described in one of 10 animated videos devised by the Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives (Neil) research programme at Trinity College Dublin. Each one is two minutes long and is full of information about how to reduce memory loss, to recognise the onset of dementia and to tackle the stigma attached to the condition.

“Animations are a really simple way to make complex information understandable and to encourage people to watch and share because it is fun rather than worthy,” said Dr Sabina Brennan, assistant director of the Neil programme.

The short films provide information on how memory works, what a person can do to promote brain health and how to help those with dementia to remain within the community.

“One problem is people have a head-in-the-sand mentality, thinking that nothing can be done about loss of memory. But we need to work at brain health,” she said. “The goal of Neil is to enable independent living. People fear memory loss but want to live in the community as long as possible.”


Simple information
The videos were developed with this in mind, providing simple information to those experiencing memory loss and their friends and carers. A not-for-profit organisation based in Ireland called Genio provided funding for the videos (See genio.ie).

They are easy to understand and cover areas such as how memory works and whether memory can go completely. Titles include: I have Alzheimer’s disease, what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life ? and I have trouble remembering things, am I getting dementia?

One top tip for maintaining brain health is to take regular exercise as activity produces a chemical in the body that acts “like fertiliser for the brain”, the video’s explain.

Another is to challenge yourself with difficult things, something that improves brain chemistry. A third is to learn something new because it encourages the growth of new brain cells, Dr Brennan said.


View the 10 animated videos on brain health and dementia at http://freedemliving.com