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Reminiscence Therapy

It is a funny thing about Alzheimer's that memories are lost in reverse order; memories formed recently are more fleeting than those from many years ago. Alzheimer's disease starts in the hypothalamus, the region of the brain responsible for putting experiences into memory. When the hypothalamus is damaged, recent experiences never have a chance to become memories. Not until much later in the disease's progression does it affect the regions in the brain in which older memories are stored, and so those memories are available even into later stages of the disease. This phenomenon is responsible for much of the behavior and the symptoms commonly associated with Alzheimer's, and we need to consider its effects when communicating with and selecting activities for people affected by the disease.

Make Yesteryear, not Yesterday, the Focus of Conversation

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