In a first of it’s kind research project called the Nun Study, a convent of nuns donated their brains to science to further the study of Alzheimer’s disease. Mentally active until death these women showed no visible signs of dementia despite brain scans with advanced chemical changes that cause Alzheimer’s.
My wife and I are very interested in becoming active participants in the fight against cognitive dysfunction and memory loss in senior communities with particular attention to stronger and lasting family bonds.
Without any formal clinical training, we decided to begin a chess initiative with young children in Atlanta in 2010 working with an International Chess Master in after-school programs. Although we have found numerous accounts of research conducted with kids to strengthen cognitive function, we are curious to learn what independent research exists in the senior community in a chess learning environment.
The Nun Study from the National Institute on Aging is what we have to date, so we would like to propose an idea. First, has your research center collected any relevant data in a clinical setting that supports the need to institute a chess learning program in the senior community? If not, would your center have a desire to do so? If so, how would the center garner willing participants to conduct a study like this?
If you see some potential here, or at least have some interest in a study on the topic of chess learning as a form of holistic therapy, feel free to contact me to discuss some possibilities. We would like to become members of the Georgia Area Therapeutic Recreation Association as a valued source for information sharing among professionals working in Georgia.