mctrexler
Anyone know of anyone using TheBrain to support patients with memory losses or disorders including Alzheimers?  A trailer I saw for the new Alzheimer's movie "Still Alice," shows the victim taking a lot of notes on her cell phone to try and remember for later. Seems like a well developed PB, accessible through your iphone, could be a useful way to keep track of a lot of that kind of personal information.

Thoughts?

Mark

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ShelleyHayduk
We do have some psychologists who are using TheBrain therapeutically. And then on the pharmaceutical end of things we have some drug companies that do use it for medical and pharmacological research in this area as well.

This is an interesting idea and connection to the Movie. How was the movie? I am looking forward to seeing it myself. Alzheimer's and mental health is one of this decade's greatest changes. 
Shelley
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metta
FWIW, several years ago I introduced TheBrain to my adult daughter who has ADD, and it has helped her immensely -- in terms of both (1) having one single location to consolidate everything she wants to save and (2) then later finding/retrieving information she has stored away.

My guess is TheBrain could serve a similar function for individuals at least in the early stages of mild cognitive impairment.
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mcaton
Metta,

It's nice to hear that TheBrain can have such a positive impact! Thank you for sharing.

Thanks,
Matt
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IvanPsy
People suffering from Alzheimer may forget even to write down the notes and take them back at the proper time.
There should be a System that integrates note taking and information retrieving, maybe an AI that understand the lifestyle and the routine of the person, and actively takes note and retrieve the information, so that the person receive just a notification.

Anyway I suppose TheBrain would be a good start.

Nice idea!
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IvanPsy
Metta, I work with many ADDs too, and I had the idea that a mind map (or something similar) would be a good tool.
I haven't experimented with it yet: I fear a "Life" mind map would be too messy for that people.
I'd like to hear your experience with it.
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metta
Apologies, IvanPsy, for the delay in following up on your request. I'm just now beginning to catch up on my backlog of forum posts.

As things have developed, using a shared brain with my adult daughter (who has ADD) has worked very well as a vehicle for sharing, storing and retrieving information. It has been especially valuable in recent weeks since I've been working very closely with her (on a daily basis) in managing several major life transitions.

The mechanism for managing this shared brain has been relatively simple and effective:
> The brain is hosted on her free account, but we both use the same login, so we can each access and edit the brain.
> Since I have a Pro Account, I've been able to create thought types with icons that help with visually sorting content in the brain, and that has proven to be very helpful to her.
> We always notify each other (via live chat) when and where we're working in TB, and we always sync both before and after making any edits. This has worked quite well in helping to prevent us from overwriting each other's work.
> We also have 2 main thoughts for notifying each other of recent updates and changes we've made in her brain, so it is easy for her to find my recent edits, and vice versa.
> We also use a few key tags to highlight items for "Review", "Priority" etc. (However, we've kept her tagging system relatively simple, in order to prevent undue confusion and "busyness", and to limit visual distractions in her brain.)

As for gardening and organizing her brain, I confess that I've managed most of this for her, and I imagine that for many people with ADD this might be the biggest challenge in the using TheBrain.

But even without the organizational structure I've been maintaining in her brain, I still think it would work for her in my absence since she relies primarily on the search function to find what she's looking for.

As for a "Life" map being too "messy" for folks with ADD, that is certainly a very real possibility.

However, in my daughter's case, everything is stored in one location (her mega brain) and, frankly, I think that is one of the HUGE benefits of using TheBrain for a person with ADD. She always knows where to go to find anything she is looking for. No need to wonder if it is in email (which is a huge quagmire for her), in a folder, or somewhere online. Instead, everything is accessible using one simple and effective search engine in TheBrain.

Admittedly, she has affectionately described this brain as "organized chaos" -- but without TheBrain to provide some structure and a reliable retrieval mechanism for her data, I suspect "UNorganized chaos" would be her much more frustrating default

Best of all, when she eventually upgrades to the Pro level, then she will be able to store most of her files and documents in her brain as well (instead of simply linking to them), and I think that will only increase her reliance on TheBrain even more.

I hope this additional info is helpful, IvanPsy -- and, if you have any additional questions, just let me know.
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IvanPsy
Hi metta thank you for your reply.
It's a good use, as TheBrain helps to focus on one single node and the nearby nodes.
I wonder how it's good for Asperger teenagers: I work with some of them, and they find the standard mindmaps too much confusing.
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metta
FWIW, my daughter actually is an Aspie. In fact, her predominant features are of the Asperger type, with ADD being a secondary co-factor.

In my daughter's case, I would venture to say the primary benefit of TheBrain for her individually (apart from our coordinated use of the software) is having ONE place to put everything with ONE simple way to retrieve everything (using the search feature).

She also does not do much with creating extended linking between thoughts, so without all the gardening I do (and the secondary links I provide), I imagine her brain would NOT be too confusing visually at all.

I suspect that in working with Aspie teens, you'll have the very best success if you:
  • encourage the teens to create their own brains rather than have them try to figure out yours (see this thread for a valuable discussion of the challenges associated with making sense of the brains other people create)
  • provide your teens with a few good introductory videos to review before they start working with the software (videos such as this 10-minute tour)

As for providing templates as a starting point for working with TheBrain software, I suspect the value of using a template for a mega brain (or templates for multiple brains) would depend a lot on the individual Aspie. Particularly high-functioning Aspies might be quite comfortable with simply diving in and creating their own brain(s). Others might benefit tremendously from have a starting structure with which they could work -- or experiment. (As I indicated previously, in my daughter's case, have preestablished thought types with icons has proved to be very helpful for her, visually.)

Regardless of the approach you use, I will be very interested to know if you decide to explore the use TheBrain software with the teens with whom you work. To me, this a fascinating potential application of the software, and I personally would be very interested in following your work.
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