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Science behind the picture – cognitive change

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Palm Trees and Pyramids representing changes in thinking in MND
Palm Trees and Pyramids representing a test to assess changes in thinking in MND

Why a picture of palm trees and pyramids? The Palm Trees and Pyramids test is the name of a psychology test used to assess whether people with MND have difficulty in remembering and using language.

In this test three pictures are shown in each assessment, one picture at the top and two underneath it. In one test the top picture is of a pyramid, and the bottom two pictures are of a palm tree and an evergreen, deciduous tree. The part of the brain that matches the palm tree with a hot climate – such as the temperatures in Egypt – is the part of the brain that we use for our language skills.

We know that some people with MND experience changes in the way that they think and behave, this can be very subtle things through to a condition called frontotemporal dementia. It is important that we all understand more about these symptoms to support people with MND, their families and carers in the best way we can. For more information and support on these symptoms of MND please see our information sheet on cognitive change.

 

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