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A Glimpse of Clarity: What is Paradoxical Lucidity?


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Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are progressive conditions, meaning memory and thinking skills decrease over time.

However, on occasion, a person may spontaneously regain the ability to interact or communicate in meaningful, lucid ways. These episodes are typically short, spanning seconds to a few days.

This phenomenon has been called paradoxical lucidity, but little is known about why or when it occurs, or to whom it occurs. The biological basis and frequency of these occurrences remains a mystery, and it’s unclear what, if anything, prompts them.

Furthermore, researchers have yet to fully grasp how lucid episodes impact family members and caregivers of those living with dementia.

A clearer picture of this phenomenon could provide crucial insight into memory and brain function, and help facilitate a deeper understanding of neurodegenerative conditions.


A Chance to Get Involved


Dr. Joan Griffin and her research team at the Mayo Clinic are collaborating with the Brain Health Registry to recruit family caregivers with and without experience with paradoxical lucidity to better understand the phenomenon.

Over the next few months, we will be sending out recruitment invitations to BHR participants and study partners to join in Dr. Griffin’s effort to understand these episodes.
Her team is looking for family caregivers who are willing to complete monthly surveys over the course of one year. The surveys will cover issues about caring for someone with later stages of dementia and whether there have been experiences of paradoxical lucidity.

Keep an eye out for an email inviting you to this exciting study Dr. Griffin is conducting.