Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

Posts Tagged ‘Brain Health’

YOU, keeping your brain active while fundraising

In Third Party on July 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm


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A few weeks ago, Tammy wrote to you about the “Longest Day” Bridge game that the Bridge Studio held in Halifax. Today, let’s talk about a game that was held at the other end of our province, at Bridge Acadien in Yarmouth.

Yves Chartrand from Bridge Acadien, knows that playing bridge is a great way to keep your mind active (in fact it’s not just playing Bridge that helps, it’s also the social aspect of the game. Read more about better brain health here).  Its one of the reasons he signed his club up to be part of the “Longest Day Fundraiser.”

“I applied early to take part in The Longest Day for 2014 since it was going to be on the day that we run our normal games (Saturday) and I believe it is a great charity to pair up with the game of Bridge.  I have read that keeping your brain active may help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and playing Bridge should definitely qualify as an activity that makes your brain work!”

The “Longest Day” fundraiser takes place on the longest day of the year, June 21. Fundraisers around North America host special events, or challenge themselves/group to do something for up to 12 hours. It could mean that everyone in your office walks a treadmill, one hour at a time, for 12 hours, raising funds to do so to support those living with dementia.

At Bridge Acadien, here is how they spent their day:

“We had a great day with 5 games from 10 am until 10 pm.  We did have a supper break, which was very much appreciated.  I may change the format next year.  it is a lot of work to run all those games without any help.  The highlight was the participation by local players and the amount of food that was brought in by all.  It helped us provide great hospitality and I believe that everybody enjoyed themselves.”

We thank Yves and Bridge Acadien for supporting those in our province, for whom many days, seem like the longest, as they live with dementia.

Do YOU think that your office, organization, club is up to the challenge of spending the Longest Day next  year raising funds for Nova Scotians living with dementia? Let us know in the comments!

In the meantime, maybe YOU are interested in Bridge. Yves wants YOU to know:

“Bridge is a great game. YOU learn communication skills, teamwork, problem solving skills, how to win and lose gracefully and all kinds of math skills.”

YOU, and the power of research

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2013 at 11:33 am



Do YOU know what it feels like to hold a human brain in your hands?  Well now I can say that I do.  On Friday, May 24th some of the new members of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia took a “class trip”.  We went to Dalhousie University, the home of Nova Scotia’s Brain Tissue Bank.  And it was a truly unbelievable experience.

 The Maritime Brain Tissue Bank is one of three in Canada and primarily deals with degenerative diseases such as dementia.  The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is extremely proud to boast that not only does the money raised in this province stay in this province, but a portion of it goes directly to the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank.  This is extremely important research that is being conducted right in our own backyard and more people need to know about it.  One day, Nova Scotia could be the place where a cure is found.

 Our tour began with a warm greeting from Technician Andrew Reid.  Reid has been with the MBTB since 2000.  We were introduced to staff and saw slides of the proteins that can cause dementia.

 As Reid was touring us around the facility we approached a heavy metal door with a small window, when he pulled the door open I felt a cool wave of air hit me. As I adjusted to the change in temperature I realized what I looking at, and it was one of the most awesome sights I have ever seen.  Stacked on floor to ceiling shelves were jars and jars of human brains floating in preservative liquid.  I was mesmerized.  For some reason I didn’t think we were going to see a full size, intact brain.  Marked on each jar was the gender of the donor and a code for their disease, most read AD (Alzheimer Disease) and many seemed to be female.

 Reid took one of the samples, a healthy brain, removed it from its container and gave us a crash course in brain geography.  I was grateful for the tutorial as it has been many years since high school biology.   He then produced a second brain and showed us the differences between a healthy brain and a brain effected by Alzheimer disease.  It was unbelievable to see how much difference there was between the two. It was extremely powerful.

 And then it happened, he asked if I wanted to hold the brain, and I absolutely did. I held a human brain in my hands.  It was a very moving experience because even though it is by all accounts a mass of tissue, it is so much more.  As soon as you hold it, you become very aware of what you are holding.  This person probably had loved ones, children, parents, a spouse; people who respected and admired her, and I felt obliged to honour that.  I wanted to respect what I was holding and give thanks to the person strong enough to donate their brain to this extremely important research.

 And that is why, even though I work in fund development, I went on this trip.  I need to witness the work and research that is going on, so I can feel the connection to this cause, so that my job has purpose.  It is not just about raising as much money as possible.  It is about raising money so the MBTB can find a cure for dementia.

 “The Maritime Brain Tissue Bank was established at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine and the QEII Health Sciences Centre, with the help of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. Its purpose is to collect brain tissues and to make them available for researchers who are trying to better understand the causes of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”  Source

 Follow this link to find out how to donate a brain to the Maritime Brain Tissue Bank: