Enhance Cognitive Stability and Neuroplasticity

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In many cases, cognition can be maintained, increased and improved

Portland Metro Creative Aging and Cognitive Arts Center 12-Step Program to Enhance Stability and Neuroplasticity in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early-to-mid-stage Alzheimer's Disease (AD) clients

curriculum | proposed clinical trials | cognition | neuroplasticity | quality of life | dementia |


Mushrooms In My Front Yard, using Apple Iphone 5C and Paper Camera app, by Bob Burkhalter, 2014  

Portland First U.S. City with MCI/Alzheimer's Disease 12-Step Program to Enhance Cognitive Stability and Neuroplasticity

The program can be implemented expensively by fee-based professionals; or, by the public like other 12-step programs at no cost. Art In Portland aggregated, assembled and advocates the Senior Cognitive Arts 12-Step Program

The focus of Art In Portland is senior cognitive improvement in Metropolitan Portland thru Art Education and Multiple Intelligences ... to which we've added our Cognitive Arts 12-Step Program (ten steps are clinically documented). Art Education refers to John Dewey's work on cognitive transformation and integration of the individual into democracy thru the practice of art, and John Gardner's work on multiple intelligences (located in different cognitive brain sectors), in order to individualize interactions with clients or participants based on their cognitive strengths ...as different people have different cognitive strengths. 

Cognitive centers of the brain each focus on a different activity. Our activities correspond to these cognitive development areas.

To help maintain or enhance cognitive stability of seniors with issues such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early-to-mid stages of Alzheimer's Disease, Art In Portland has designed a Senior Cognitive Arts 12-Step Program to be used in fee-based professional settings or adapted by the public like other 12-Step programs at no cost.

Our program was developed independently over 20 years and is similar to the TTAP Method, cites TTAP clinical trials and methods as stepping-stones ...Art In Portland Cognitive Art programs reflect Creative Aging, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Massage Therapy, Diet Therapy, Alternative Medicine, Preventive Care, Hospice and by arrangement on request extra-sensory sensitive, spiritual and prayer healing.


Portland Metro Creative Aging and Cognitive Arts Center 12-Step Program to Enhance Stability and Neuroplasticity in MCI and early-to-mid-stage AD clients

WHAT IS COGNITIVE ARTS? Cognitive Arts is a term we coined to describe a scientific field first researched and established in the 1950's and research continues, today. 

There have been many scientific studies documenting that cognition can often improve naturally in seniors and elders when their cognitive brain centers become stimulated with creative activities such as art, learning, education, movement, and activities that use hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, seeing, and thinking.

That cognitive maintenance and improvement process is called, cognitive neuroplasticity, describing how our brain rewires itself while learning new tasks, in order to understand, and accomplish new tasks, and naturally improve with practice.

Additionally, there are many successful creative aging programs in use nationally and internationally catching the public's eye as we age. However, our programs focus on maintaining cognitive stability and increasing neuroplasticity

(above) Unstimulated dendrites w/cellular degeneration, perhaps with symptoms of depression.

Environmental stimulation from sight, smell, taste, touch and education triggers nerve cells in our Hippocampus region to multiply, and become larger, denser and healthier:


(above) Stimulated, healthy dendrites with enriched, dense connections, perhaps with symptoms of joy


MCI/Alzheimer's 12-Step Cognitive Art Program activities focus on social engagement for cognitive involvement, participants and clients draw on life stories, explored thru movement, story, dance and engagement making art for self expression.

We organize activities around clients' accomplishments in life in an emotionally warm and caring way, engaging clients' cognitive brain-processing areas, using brain science to improve their quality of life; and may include:

Art & Performing Arts <> Autobiography <> Assemblage <> Clay <> Collage <> Coloring <> Dance <> Design <> Exercise (movement) <> Food Tasting <> Fiction <> Filmmaking <> Folk Arts <> Graphic Design <> Journalism <> Literature <> Media Arts <> Mixed Media Art <> Movement <> Museums <> Music (creating) <> Music Appreciation <> Musical Theatre <> Opera <> Oral Journalism <> Photography <> Poetry (writing) <> Pottery <> Printmaking <> Scrapbooks (& photo albums) <> Singing <> Storytelling <> Theatre <> Watercolor <> Viewing short films together followed by discussion <> Visual Arts

1. Writing down one's thoughts, expressing preferences (favorites), getting group consensus ... Language and visual communication imagery

2. Music, meditation, sharing feelings, favorites ... Intra and inter personal, musical, hearing and visual communication imagery

3. Mood in one's mind ... drawing the imagination ... Kinesthetic, spatial, visual and spiritual communication imagery

4. Self-expression thru sculpture, drawing, painting, coloring ... spatial, visual and kinesthetic communication imagery

5. Self-expression thru movement (and movement therapy), massage, and dance ... Kinesthetic, visual, and musical imagery communication

6. Words/poetry imagery and stories ... Linguistic, intra/interpersonal communication imagery

7. Food for thought ... Linguistic, kinesthetic-, intra/inter-personal communication imagery

8. Theme event ... Intra-and-interpersonal relationships, spatial, visual, kinesthetic, musical, linguistic, and visual modes of communication imagery

9. Photography and scrapbooking ... Linguistic, visual, intra/interpersonal relationships, kinesthetic and spatial modes of communication imagery, discussion

10. Food tasting ... Tasting-sensory communication imagery

11. Psychic (intuitive) communication imagery ... Extra-sensory (intuitive nonverbal, direct-or remote psychic reading, healing and communication imagery

12. Spiritual communication imagery ... Comforting visits by religious authorities corresponding to client belief system.

Our methodology structures left-brain and right-brain functioning into corresponding cognitive activities. Peak cognitive performance uses both. 









 Story boards


 Food, recipes

 Concrete reality

Orientation, names, nouns





 Paints, color, form

 Reactive skills

 Body, movement




 Sculpture, 3-D work


 Being in the moment