social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

Posts tagged General

It seems very obvious to me that the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics starting on July 23, 2021 should be a “no starter.”

Covid infection and death rates are again surging as Variant D spreads globally

Holding the Olympics could cost millions of lives. Worth it to you? Not to me.

Click the image to expand it.


Some other considerations.


Want information you created or curated to have the greatest impact? Then put it into a mind map. Not a mono-toned mess of straight lines at right angles but curves with colors and an organic style. A mind map utilizing rules that follow what is fairly well known about visual thinking. A mind map like the one below.

Click on the image to expand it.

Conditions Under Which the Impact of a Mind Map is Maximized

Since the 1960s, the US Congress has borrowed money from the Medicare and Social Security Trusts — money deducted from the salaries of all workers — and used it for defense, foreign aid, defense, social services, defense, medical services, wars, defense, bombs, and Congressional pork.

Now, Trusts funded by by workers’ salary deductions to pay for retirement living and healthcare expenses are supposedly going to go bankrupt because dementia is reportedly going to destroy these programs.

Truly one of the great cons in history. For decades Congress has committed fraud by stealing from the pension fund Trusts to pay for goodies for special interests that have resulted in their own re-elections.

Now, instead of getting mad at Congress and throwing the big violators in prison, we (or my children) are supposed to get angry at our parents for having dementia.

The US has prosecuted organized crime for decades for stealing from pension plans.

Somehow we forgot to prosecute the biggest violator.

Stop blaming dementia for the destruction of Social Security and Medicare. Responsible elected officials would not have stolen from these trusts or would not have enacted tax cuts while taking money from needed social network services from the future.

There is a way to fix this problem available to you in November. I hope you use it.

I hate clutter. I’ve always had far too much stuff around, usually shoved in an unused closet, the garage, storage. Old questionnaires, old clothes, old pens most run dry by now, old external data drives (in case I need an email from 1990), old office supplies, old books from grad school in the 1970s that no current grad student wants for free (no grad students buy boring professional journals in paper formats anymore), boxes of new file folders (which no one uses in the computer ages), old jeans (as sizes went up and sometimes down over the years), t-shirts from the 1980s, and who knows what else. I also inherited a bunch of family heirlooms (mostly junk but including my treasured Eagle Scout badge and transcript from grad school) in boxes from my mother. The organization systems I have tried to implement since the early 1970s have never really worked that well.

And the reason “disorganized and cluttered” could be dealt with easily was that I had a very organized mind and my memory was like a steel trap; if I had observed or read or heard it, the information was there. And, damn it, I never learned to clean up after myself because there were always more exciting and new things to do. And if I needed something the odds were extremely high I could find it the random box where it had been placed.

And this was before the Internet, before the Internet with Google, before the Internet with voice-controlled Google. Information organization needs have exploded.

And this was before I had a neurodegenerative disease with memory loss, significantly lowered ability to multi-task and make decisions, a big temper when frustrated, lowered ability to separate perceptual field from ground (or the object I wanted in the clutter), and many other dementia symptoms.

Now clutter just destroys me. I waste time every day trying to find things, organize things, decide what to throw out and what to keep, and putting things where I can find them. I get extremely anxious and agitated in clutter but cannot figure what to discard without then facing a world-shattering event without the one paper or piece of clothing or knife or key or medical records that would save the world.



Have dementia? I do. Care for someone with dementia? I used to. Have a family member with dementia? I used to.

There are many things that you can do to help yourself (and others you meet along the way). Among others, stop worrying about appearing dumb or disabled; if you have a problem ask someone to help you. Practice what you should do in various situations. Try to be empathic (or at least aware). Learn to be patient and take your turn even if you want to break into a conversation or a line because you might forget what you want to say or you think no one is listening to you. Keep trying to learn new things or ways of behaving or ways of thinking. Respect others. And focus on enjoying your life in a way that does not take away from another’s enjoyment of life.

Click the image to expand it.


And … have a great day!

Here is an alternate way to look at the mind map shown above. This is a 2.5 minute presentation of the major features of the map. Just click, then start video, and watch until completion (13 slides).

The 1985 Chicago Bears are considered by many to be the best professional football team of all time.

The coach was Hall of Fame player and coach “Iron Mike” Ditka. Ditka was the ultimate “rough and tough” player and coach. The 1985 team he coached won Super Bowl XX handily.

In 2015, Ditka was interviewed on television by Bryant Gumbel. In the interview Ditka admitted that if he had an 8-year old son he would not want his son to ever play football. Gumbel answered the same way. With a lot of emotion, Mike Ditka stated that his career as a player and coach had made football a major part of his entire life. But there was no way he would want a family member to play the game.


My book, Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia (published in 2015) has been reduced in price to the lowest amount allowed by and Apple. While I would have made the book free for a limited time period, I have to sell, rather than distribute without cost, the book because of its size and cost of electronic distribution and the fact that the two stores require identical pricing.

The book is ONLY available in electronic formats (iBooks for Apple devices; Kindle for all devices for which there is a Kindle reader app including Apple devices). The price is identical for either version in the United States. The price should also be the same in your country unless the two stores are using different conversion rates or dealing with VAT in different ways.

To order you can click on one of the book cover icons on the left side of the pages on this site depending upon whether you would prefer to purchase the book in Kindle or iTunes format. You will be directed to the appropriate web site.

The two books are identical except for very small features required by their respective formats.

Available at the low price for a few weeks. Notice of February 5, 2016.

This book is the first in a multi-volume series. The second and third volumes will be released in the first half of 2016.

lab mouse

Note: The book is not available in China and several other countries because intellectual property rights are not respected in those markets. If you are in China and wish to obtain a copy, try to purchase it from the store in another country. Don’t blame me for the fact that your country is creating new billionaires at the fastest rate in history and has created the world’s almost biggest economy and still refuses to play fairly with the rest of the world and respect property rights and make aid donations to support basic human needs and rights in the poorer nations.

When you get diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease — or any time thereafter — you have a choice.

You can wallow around thinking life is over and you are sick and you will never live well again because everything is changing.

Or you can go with the flow and let yourself be happy and live well, albeit differently than before.

I try to flow into what is possible every day. And enjoy it,

These are my criteria for living well with dementia. These work for me. Maybe they will work for you. Or maybe you will develop your own criteria, a very good idea.


This book can improve all of your handwritten communications, reminder notes, task lists, shopping lists, and make the birthday cards you send more memorable.


Think about receiving a birthday card or letter that is handwritten beautifully and legible. It costs $20 and an investment of 2 hours to be able to do that.

Living off sticky notes like I have to with memory problems is not a lot of fun when you can’t tell if you are supposed to pick up mulch or milk at the store or if you have $51 or $62 in your checking account. When you don’t do what the sticky note you made to yourself says, you can’t use the “Even I can’t read my own handwriting” excuse unless you are willing to look (and feel) like a clown. (more…)

vaccinate - 1

Our family members never bark, whine, or bite when they receive the vaccinations that keep the world safe from some very nasty diseases. Instead they feel proud that new litters of pups and people will never have to experience the communicable diseases of childhood and the adult phases of their lives.

Bark loudly at those who do not take these responsibilities seriously. No treats for those who do not learn the laws of the global village.



Attention in the USA has been directed for a few days (and will be for another few days) at the huge winter storm hitting about one-third of the US population at some time this week.

For days, deaths will be counted and accidents portrayed on television. If it is a typical big storm week in the USA somewhere between 50 and 300 deaths will be attributed to the storm. Awful, yes. Some will be because elderly and poor people died due to lack of heat. A lot will be because some idiot (often under the influence of alcohol) was driving a car unnecessarily. But the count will be in the 100s.

Think about this a little. ONE-THIRD of the US population is indoors for 2-4 days with a warm living room with comfortable chairs, TV sports showing fairly aggressive games (football and hockey, basketball sometimes), and a just recently stocked refrigerator and pantry full of salty food, beer, wine, wine coolers, bourbon, gin, Jim Beam, and Johnny Walker, and the rest of their friends.

How many TENS OF THOUSANDS of spouses, children, and elderly will be physically assaulted (slapping, punching, raping) during this period of domestic bliss in a winter wonderland? How many will be berated and be psychologically drawn-and-quartered by other individuals in the household? And because of the weather, the police will not be able to respond quickly to the reported (a small percentage of those that actually happen) domestic violence calls. Probably my estimate in the first sentence is off. Probably HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of spouses, children, and elderly will be physically or psychologically assaulted by the combination of closeness, alcohol, and various aggressive stimuli not the least of which is now also Internet pornography. And the television news.

And how many of the “idiots” killed on the road during the storm were spouses and children fleeing from an inebriated and abusive partner?

Being forced to be inside with too much alcohol and TV and “domestic bliss” is a recipe for long-term scars, shattered lives, and the transmission of domestic violence across generations.

Does any liquor store in your town stop sales starting a day or two before a blizzard? The liquor stores in many US states are controlled by the state government (and directly run by them). Does any grocery chain stop selling beer and wine?

The real victims are those who endure an indebriated adult or teen during days spent indoors and future generations if forced to repeat this cycle again and again.

And in many cases it is your state government perpetuating it.

Break the cycle.

Break the bottles of alcohol.






There are a lot of reasons to be overwhelmed by the occurrence of a major weather event (snow, tornado, hurricane, heavy rainfall with or without an accompanying electrical storm, flooding, extremely high or low temperatures, smog, fog, and many others). With the exception of the television stations, Internet retailers, weather forecasters, and disaster supplies merchants sold out of milk and eggs, most people are adversely impacted by extreme weather.

I think it is fair to state that those living with dementia — whether living in their own homes or various types of care facilities — are among those most affected by adverse weather conditions; I certainly feel that I am. People with dementia do not do well with ambiguity and confusion and a disruption of regular plans. Medications may be missed, panic may set in, the food pantry may be bare, and needed life supports may be missing as caregivers are stranded. And while the news broadcasters love their opportunity to get all of the air time, they get it by endlessly describing deaths, accidents, closed schools and business, police overstatements of the problem designed to keep people within their homes, and the bubble head news anchors still unable to describe anything accurately so fall back on their “horrible” stories of how difficult it was for them (self-anointed heros all) to drive into the television studio at 4 AM.

No wonder everyone living with dementia ends up confused (and worse).

A mind map of problems and suggested partial “solutions.” Click on the image to expand its size. Use your telephone to contact friends and family who may be experiencing difficulties such as those I describe.

Why a Person with Dementia May Be Overwhelmed by a Major Weather Event

If you (or anyone else) needs assistance during a major weather event, dial 911 (or your local number) and speak to your local law enforcement or emergency medical response agency. They have the equipment to make it to your location during heavy rain, flooding, blizzards, and tornadoes. The American (and world-wide) network of first responders to emergencies is a highly dedicated and well-trained group who can help in many different ways.

Dr King was one of two public figures who lived during part of my lifetime that I most admire and respect.

His legacy is among the most important in American history and had the most impact of any public figure upon my own life.

I too have a dream …

Dr Martin Luther King Jr

This is a minor revision of a mind map first published in 2014.

If you use a computer, you can easily create a compelling set of visual reminders. Or, if you are a caregiver, you can create this for another person.

My question to Google was to find the UNC basketball schedule for the rest of season.

Out popped this snappy graphic …


So I clipped it.

Then I sent the clipped image to my notes file, Evernote database, and my photograph database.

And then the Evernote, notes, and photograph databases on my Mac (which was using so I did the clip on it) synced with my iPad and iPhone automatically via the Cloud. Had I wanted to, I could have also had the information automatically sync to the devices of caregivers, friends, and social media friends.

So then I got so excited I also wanted to have a copy of the UNC baseball schedule for the first weeks of the season. So I clipped that and let the Cloud sync everything.


You have many more tools than your parents and grandparents did that will permit you to maintain a very good of quality of life even though you have neurodegenerative disease or are simply going through a typical process of aging.



Oh yeah, if you want to store dumb cat pictures you can do that. If you do, please don’t share them with me.

dumb cat pictures

January 11 2016 is the first World Sketchnote Day. FIRST one. EVER. Submit a sketchnote on social media and you can be a PIONEER. Get yourself one of those #1 fingers at your local football stadium.

Since reading the two books by Mike Rohde @rohdesign I have been convinced that sketchnotes are a fantastic way to make informational notes (reminders, lists, summaries, addresses) if you have or want to prepare for cognitive impairment and later dementia.

Image the power of a sketchnote about a friend or a favorite vacation or Wisconsin or the joys of ice cream or your favorite Super Bowl when your memory is declining. Something novel and compelling and engaging may help trigger many memories and even build new ones.

I love my photo albums, but a sketchnote goes beyond a photo and allows for a summary including stylized graphics, emotions, memory triggers, relationships, and feelings of success and love.

I have long believed that mind maps and sketchnotes are extremely powerful tools for sparking and prolonging memories for those facing neurocognitive disorders or just normal aging. The topic is discussed in many blog posts here – use the search engine on

I am especially enamored with the idea of combining sketchnotes and Buzan-style mind maps.

A sticky note with a sketchnote stuck on a refrigerator or computer monitor or mirror could help a person with dementia or cognitive impairment have a better day. Think about that. I personally need a funny sketchnote reminding me to shave on the mirror.

I am a rank amateur at sketchnoting (I spend most of my time working on the theory of mind mapping) but I still use lots of sketchnotes every day. A sticky note page has become synonymous for me with a mini-sketchnote.

Here is my sketchnote for the first World Sketchnote Day #SNDay2016. My sketchnote is extremely amateurish but is extremely effective for me (a person with neurodegenerative disease and dementia).

If you are a pro sketchnoter, please help by developing methods to help those with cognitive impairment remember, plan, understand, and communicate. If you are someone dealing with cognitive decline, or a caretaker or family member, give this method a try. It takes a pencil and a pad (and maybe some refrigerator magnets). If you are a healthcare provider, consider giving your patients reminder sticky notes which use sketchnoting principles.

My sketchnote of the day complete with the official #hashtag. I am a pioneer. Whoo-hooo. Thanks #MikeRohde. You’re #1.


Think you have a million of those sticky notes on your computer monitor, office wall, idiotic memos, email you printed out as well as in your wallet, pockets, and stuck on file cabinets.

About a “million” is nothing. Wait until you have aging memory or neurocognitive impairment (MCI, dementia). You will be buying more sticky notes every time you get near a Big Box office supply store.

Think you are going to keep all of the reminders you write yourself all day by typing them into an electronic device? Uh huh. I’ve started down that track many many many times in the past 35 years starting with the very first Palm Pilot that came on the market and progressing through an iPaq (yup, the spelling is correct), the Treo smart phone, Blackberries, the iPhone, the iPad, and a dozen different kinds of laptop and notebook computers.

I confess. I failed. Every time I tried.

I ended up with those damn sticky notes and file cards. At least now I take pictures of the sticky notes with my iPhone and upload them to Evernote and (Apple) Photos where I never can find them again.

Now sadly it comes down to that problem of legible handwriting. If I can’t read the note 10 minutes later, it didn’t happen. Used to be I could remember what I wrote on the note. Now … well why do you think I wrote the note? There is no memory backup if you cannot read your own handwriting.

Legibility. Come on, how many of your friends write legible printing or cursive handwriting? Do you? Can you do it quickly?

I started using fountain pens and LARGE cursive writing a couple of years ago and it helped but there were still a lot of notes that I have to guess at words which is pretty silly because I wrote them. It might be a joke in the office to say “I can’t read my own handwriting,” but it is not funny at all if the only way you can remember what to buy at the grocery store is from a handwritten note.

Italic handwriting is super fast and almost invariably legible. It takes 1-2 hours to learn and practice. That’s it. Works with ballpoint pens, pencils, fountain pens, and I suspect crayons although I have yet to formally test crayons (one of the kids “borrowed” my crayons off my home office desk).

You can start to learn italic handwriting from this very short article in the New York Times and a few charts you will find scattered around the Internet. Yes, really. TWO hours. For definitive books, search for Getty and Dubay and buy their book on adult handwriting.

Learn this method of handwriting and when you get old and your memory is going, you will at least be able to read the memory notes you wrote for yourself, family, caregivers, and healthcare providers.

Click the mind maps to expand them.

Italic HandwritingHandwriting Tools





remaining examples all fountain pen (different pens)


Special note: If you want a computer font to use in various graphic application programs, take a look at Sketchnote Italic by designer (and sketchnote father) Mike Rohde. This font is the best match I have found to Italic Printing and is exceptionally clear and “memorable.” It also has the property of looking “relaxed” and may be less stressful for those reminders you really don’t want to remember. Mike’s font is the one used in the mind maps above.

Rohde’s books on Sketchnoting are highly recommended as definitive sources for combining printed handwriting and small “doodle-like” graphics to enhance understanding and memory. These should be on the must-read list for anyone using handwritten notes.



I have a neurodegenerative disease for which there are no approved and proven medical treatments. [Click here for more information.]

In my blog on I discuss and demonstrate cognitive and behavioral techniques (NOT treatments but ways to deal with day-to-day life) when your cognitive functions are decreasing dramatically.

I am running an N=1 study on myself. I try methods, I report the results. I enjoy extending my prior career and I benefit from it.

lab mouse

Definitive science? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But suggestive of methods which might be explored further. I do not have the time or research resources to run necessary studies on hundreds of people. But I do have a 35 year career as a well-respected psychological methodologist behind me and I use this experience to try to ensure that I do not over-interpret my “findings.”

Recommended for you or an elderly family member? Ask your doctor. Every person and set of circumstances is different.

Treatment? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Just inexpensive and easy-to-learn cognitive-behavioral methods of coping with the effects of decreasing brain power. There is no evidence at this time that changes in the brain occur.

Worth It? Seems to be for ME.The cost in $s is only a few hundred per year for a mind mapping program, a tablet or Mac or PC to run it on, and possibly a few inexpensive books. I am not selling you anything. If you would prefer, you should be able to replicate any of the mind mapping examples I demonstrate here with a few colored pencils or pens and a pad of paper, all of which you probably own already. I prepare mind maps that help me remember doctor appointments and names and vacations and the rest of my life. The maps help me plan, learn, communicate with others, tell my story, “sort out” medical information, and relax because I am doing something useful. I use both computer programs and hand-drawn methods for generating mind maps. MY quality of life is better (and I say that unequivocally).

Please join the discussion and help evaluate the findings.

Over on the left is a button for accessing ALL blog posts in reverse chronological order. I would start there. It will give you a sense of the range of topics I cover.

If you are interested in my take on the theory of mind mapping (or in my expanded view, mind modeling), click the button for HITMM.

Click the following mind maps to expand them. [Individual posts in the blog explain these maps in detail.]

Live long and prosper.



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Oh, let’s not forget my collaborator and part-time therapist Sabra …


It makes me very annoyed (well really pissed off) that some Twitter users identify themselves as physicians, psychologists, lawyers, nurses, etc., in their Twitter bios or screen names and do not identify themselves by actual name.

If you are going to claim PROFESSIONAL credibility for your PROFESSIONALLY-oriented tweets then tell us your name. If you must remain anonymous for whatever reasons, do not put your professional qualifications into your screen name or bio and act like you are professionally qualified to render factual and accepted information rather than a WAG (wild ass guess).

I think that this is a special problem for physicians and other healthcare providers. There are many on the Internet who are searching for information about untreatable, incurable diseases as well as how to control their depression or rage or addiction or how much aspirin to give an infant. A screen name implying professional qualifications when you do not state who you are misleads people looking for help.

Oh, I know, you put a statement in a Twitter statement that says something like “all Tweets are not XYZ advice.” That goes 15% of the way, but the reality is that a lot of people are going to believe what you tweet because they are desperate for information that their own doctor will not provide because there is no definitive answer.

If you cannot put your actual name on a Twitter account, then you have no business putting your professional credentials (be they MD, PhD, MSW, LCSW, JD, Dr, etc.) in your screen name or bio. If you want to be anonymous, so be it, but then you should not be anonymously providing information that will be taken as more definitive because you have those magic words or acronyms in your bio or screen name.

I do not give psychological or medical advice because I am not a licensed treatment provider. I do evaluate research, an imprecise science, but it is a professional activity and I have a relevant professional degree and a lot of experience.

While my screen name in Twitter does not include my FULL name, my actual name is attached to the account and you can see it any time by clicking the screen name. My curriculum vitae (professional resume) is on the Internet as is a website that discusses what I think I know and what I think I do not know. I am a Fellow of the two primary psychological associations in the USA and you can check their directories to see if I am correctly stating my credentials. My professional degrees and licensure are listed on my CV and website and you can confirm if what I say is correct. I am on Linkedin which contains much professional information, all of which can be fairly easily confirmed on the Internet or in the rare case where the information is not electronic, by a telephone call.

Without your name, you could, after all be –


Including a “real looking name” is no guarantee — of course — that someone actually has professional degrees and experience that are claimed and even Frank or Bedsheet (above) may say he is Dr Joe Smith, MD, PhD, nice guy. But in most cases the names will be true and can be verified.

Will I still follow and retweet Twitter accounts that do not list actual names. YES. But if I do I make significant efforts to determine the real person making the comments (yes, the Internet is a powerful tool for this).

I urge all who do not use their actual name but do state their “professional credentials” to start to use their actual name.

Every year when I review mind mapping programs, iMindMap draws further ahead of its competitors for the Number 1 ranking.

iMindMap 9.0 was released at the end of 2015. I used it for a month before writing this review.

The new Version 9 is an incredible piece of theoretical design for a system of applied visual thinking, a programming masterpiece, and one of the most useful applications for everyone who thinks. [On the other hand, if you are a career couch potato who wishes to take little control over your own life, you might find you money better spent on a world domination, military game for your favorite addictive device.]

iMindMap is game-changing software, and used properly can be life-changing. This year is no exception. The addition of new techniques, programming efficiencies, and usability features keep this program at the top of the pyramid not only for mind mapping, but also as a more general visual thinking environment (or as I term it, a VITHEN).

Want to think better and more accurately, understand both the big-picture and the details, plan optimally, manipulate and analyze information, enhance factual memory, and communicate more effectively? This is the best integrated tool you will find for PC, Mac, Smartphone, and tablet computers.

As a personal note, this software has helped immeasurably improve my quality of life while dealing with neurodegenerative disorder.

[The mind map below is Version 1.01: minor additions to the original and a clarification.]

Click the mind map to expand it.


Note: The version reviewed was that available for the Mac.

As I say all over the place in this blog, I think that the mind mapping program iMindMap is by far the best for this application.

However, some of the other programs work easier, or better, for specific applications. One example is creating a timeline in the style of a mind map (or as an actual mind map, depending upon how you define a mind map).

Here is a partial mind map of some events in my life very easily and quickly created in the mind mapping program XMIND. I used the most basic FREE version of this program. While not of the artistic quality of iMindMap, the program very quickly produces a timeline mind map.

Click the image to expand.

G J Huba PhD  draft lifemap 2


So you have dementia or cognitive impairment. Instructions are confusing. You don’t always hear correctly or understand what people are saying to you. Instructions for putting together a young child’s toys at the holidays or a birthday drive you crazy. You cannot figure out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be by bus, foot, car, or plane.

There are a few phrases you should know and not be embarrassed to use. Some require you disclose your health problems, others do not. There are some dangers in disclosing your health status (increased probability of being scammed or ignored or victimized or stigmatized) so before using alternatives that require disclosure think about the pros and cons quite carefully and also discuss this with your doctor, caregivers, and family members. I AM NOT RECOMMENDING YOU DISCLOSE YOUR HEALTH STATUS AND I THINK THAT THIS MIGHT BE AN EXTREMELY POOR CHOICE FOR MANY MUCH OF THE TIME. If you do feel that you need to disclose your health status to get the help you need, a doctor or nurse or law enforcement officer might be a better choice than a random stranger.

Ask for help. Don’t let your embarrassment put a wall between you and those would be more than willing to help you. Remember that if 1 person is too busy or not otherwise inclined to help you, there are 7.3 billion others on the planet to ask. And virtually all will make whatever efforts they can to help you.


I have received help in Jerusalem at the Kotel (Western or “Wailing” Wall) from a rabbi who helped me get a taxi at midnight, an Imam on Temple Mount who discussed with our family the Dome of the Rock and gave an introduction to Temple Mount, his son who was the Chair of Islamic Studies at UCLA, American college basketball, and coming to the USA to play golf in Arizona. Many in France, Spain, and Israel have endured my inability now to be able to learn and remember even the most simple and common of the words in their languages and struggled with English for my sake in order to help me. Many in more US states than I can remember have run after me with items I have left behind, and watching television my son endures my repeated questions about rules, statistics, and players I once knew as well as he does now.

Ask for help when you need it and when you can, provide it to others.

lab mouse

I studied the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Version 5 (or DSM 5) of the American Psychiatric Association over the past week.

I have concluded that the terminology developed by the psychiatrists is superior to that traditionally used to describe different types of dementia in the medical literature and the International Classification of Diseases, now Version 10 (or ICD-10).

There is a direct correspondence between DSM-5 and ICD-10 (or the earlier Version 9) diagnoses so nobody is really being reclassified because of the newer DSM-5 terminology. BUT, the terminology is MUCH clearer and I think it will be much more useful for the general public, people with dementia, and other non-physicians to think about the conditions that cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (Dementia), Huntington’s Disease and many others in this framework which makes much clearer the relationship of the many diagnoses made of brain diseases and conditions.

The explanations available to non-physicians are much simpler using the DSM-5 terminology and the psychiatrists have done a better job of formulating neurocognitive disorder (major and minor) in their diagnostic model than the standard way of doing so. It is, of course, extremely important that psychiatrists and neurologists develop improved terminologies for brain diseases and conditions so as to guide public awareness, research, and communication.

Many more posts about this in the next few weeks. I personally believe that adopting the nomenclature of the psychiatrists will do much to decrease the confusion that can be caused by reading the information provided in books and on websites.

Labelling the neurocognitive diseases in the way that the psychiatrists have goes a long way to making the conditions understandable by those who have them, their caregivers, and decision makers who approve treatment and research funds.

More unfolding, much of it in the form of mind maps and other graphics. Stay tuned.


Geek Boy - Two Thumbs Up