Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 39
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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For a Healthy Brain, “Fire Up Those Neurons!” PSRC Sponsors Conference on Memory

Ellen Gilbert

“She’s amazing,” said Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC) director Susan Hoskins describing Total Memory Workout author Cynthia R. Green. “I went to a conference where she spoke, and was just really impressed.”

So impressed was Ms. Hoskins, that Ms. Green will be the keynote speaker at PRSC’s upcoming conference entitled “Healthy Brain, Healthy Memory.” The free, half-day event will take place on Saturday, October 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Suzanne Patterson building, behind Borough Hall.

Ms. Hoskins’s enthusiasm also led to her to interview the nationally known expert on brain fitness and memory on her “PrimeTime with Susan Hoskins” TV 30 program, which is currently being aired on Mondays at 10:30 a.m.; Wednesdays at 7 a.m.; and Fridays at 6 a.m.

“There’s so much out there right now,” Ms. Hoskins observed. “Every time you turn around there’s some new DVD or book prescribing how to improve your memory.” Ms. Green’s affiliation with Mt. Sinai Hospital, Ms. Hoskins noted, “gave her credibility. She’s got some science behind her.”

Ms. Hoskins also appreciated the fact that Ms. Green’s techniques “are all the kind of thing you can do on your own at home using the things at your disposal.” Ms. Hoskins liked the simplicity of Ms. Green’s suggestion that people pay attention to whatever they want to remember, making sure to keep out distractions like ringing phones and email. Organizing information to give it meaning (like arranging numbers as if they were phone numbers) also appealed to Ms. Hoskins, along with Ms. Green’s advice about using visual imagery as a memory aid.

The three workshops that will follow Ms. Green’s keynote address at the October 24 event also drew praise from Ms. Hoskins. In “Fire Up Those Neurons! Lifestyles for Brain Health,” Princeton Regional Health Department educator Marcie Tyson will lead “an interactive exchange” that will consider everyday concerns like nutrition and memory, she said. Maryann Ross, of the COPSA (Comprehensive Services on Aging) Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, will offer what Ms. Hoskins described as “a good diagnostic workshop” on how to distinguish dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression from one another. And Ms. Green will be back for a workshop session on “How to Remember People You Meet.”

“I want people to understand that this conference is for all of us — everyone over 40 who gets scared when they can’t remember something,” Ms. Hoskins noted. “All of us are faced with a good likelihood of some form of memory loss. Research shows that over half the people over the age of 85 are cognitively impaired. If we could postpone dementia by five years we could empty half the nursing home beds.”

In addition to the keynote address and workshops, a resource fair at the “Healthy Brain, Healthy Memory” conference will help to further PSRC’s mission of “making connections,” said Ms. Hoskins. “This is our way of educating the community about the really important issues in our lives.”

Some of the sponsors of the October 24 event, which includes a continental breakfast and light lunch, are Acorn Glen, Wells Fargo, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Amboy Bank, Secure@Home, Buckingham Place, Princeton Care Center, SJ Nurses, Pennswood, and Home Instead.

To register for the conference call (609) 924-7108.

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