I’ve recently joined the BrainHealth Project, a clinical study currently soliciting volunteers. Its research goal is to ascertain whether certain strategies can maintain and even improve brain health over a ten-year period. Entirely online, study participants do brain-training exercises and receive lifestyle advice from in person coaches every three months together with a new brain index test every six months. Areas of possible improvement include diet, sleep and exercise habits, memory strategies, abstraction ability, and social connections. My initial brain health index has not yet been evaluated, and I’ve yet to talk to a coach; but my first impression of the project is very positive. I wonder whether other OCMM members might not be interested in joining the study.
I believe that my score on the social connections part of the index must have been very good—largely because of the friends I’ve made at Old Chatham Meeting. Even though those relationships play out online or by phone/email, I think they’ve probably kept my depressive tendencies (currently controlled by medication) from sneaking into consciousness.
I suspect that my Christocentric focus places me in a minority at Old Chatham, but I’m glad that the acceptance and friendship of members does not seem to be affected by that personal perspective. Of course, Zoom limits the amount of everyday conversation that cements relationships. That’s the main reason I’m flying out to New York in May, hopefully to a re-opened meeting house.
And, just as St. Paul said “Thanks be to God” for the Christians in Corinth, so I say “Thanks be to God” for the Quakers in Old Chatham!
~ Richard Russell
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