Confronted with untreatable, early onset neurodegenerative disease and impending dementia, psychologist Dr. George Huba responded by trying and evaluating many cognitive-behavioral interventions that might help to slow the progression of symptoms or at least improve quality of life. He found that the key for him was a method of visual thinking — mind mapping — that helped organize his daily life and memories and to plan for the future. Huba later found that using mind mapping as a way to communicate with others was effective for him. Dr. Huba is very clear that the mind mapping methods are not yet proven to be effective using standard experimental designs. He also stresses that cognitive-behavioral methods cannot cure neurodegeneration nor do they necessarily slow its progression. He suggests that such inexpensive and easily-learned methods may help provide clarity in planning, memory, and decision making at any point in the early and mid stages of neurodegenerative disease and dementia and consequentially improve the quality of life for the person living with neurodegenerative disease. He believes that the methods work by encouraging structured active thinking, possibly using unaffected parts of the brain. Dr. Huba presents hundred of his mind maps to support this position. Huba concludes that for neurodegenerative diseases with no effective treatment (virtually all of them), the inexpensive methods he used may prove quite helpful to many others as they age “normally,” experience increasing levels of cognitive impairment, or experience dementia. The techniques are used to help some people with neurocognitive symptoms, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals help establish routines for “living well.”
Innovative use of mind maps for cognitive impairment
After being diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition, psychologist George
Huba took on what he calls "the biggest and hardest research project of (his) life." In Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia (Huba's Bolero), Huba shares his innovative use of visual mind maps to facilitate
communication for people with cognitive impairment. The book includes creative examples of mind maps on a wide range of topics. It also is very informative about neurocognitive degeneration and using visual thinking as a strategy for coping with its challenges. A great read!
Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia
A remarkable book, full of wisdom, humor, and many, many, mind maps. All of this aimed at a journey along the road of a neurodegenerative condition that is slowly robbing the author, George J. Huba, of his cognitive faculties. In response, the author has struck back at the condition by developing the strategy of living his life with the aid of mind mapping, a strategy that has allowed him to continue to write, blog, live, and share wisdom (mappingly) about life and his condition. This is without doubt the ultimate book on practical applications of mind mapping in the field of healthcare, and there is a lesson (and a mind map or two) in every chapter. Read it, and you will find yourself spontaneously mapping and returning to it again and again to answer "how did George do it?"