Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Tough brain teasers, with answers, courtesy of NSA employees

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According to NSA’s Puzzle Periodical, “Intelligence. It’s the ability to think abstractly. Challenge the unknown. Solve the impossible. NSA employees work on some of the world’s most demanding and exhilarating high-tech engineering challenges. Applying complex algorithms and expressing difficult cryptographic problems in terms of mathematics is part of the work NSA employees do every day.”

You can try a couple of their recent, and quite tough, brain teasers here:

More brain teasers, games and illusions here.

FDA clears two computerized cognitive tests to assist in medical evaluations following brain injury or concussion

impact testingFDA allows marketing of first-of-kind computerized cognitive tests to help assess cognitive skills after a head injury (FDA news release):

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today permitted marketing of two new devices to assess a patient’s cognitive function immediately after a suspected brain injury or concussion. The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and ImPACT Pediatric are the first medical devices permitted Read the rest of this entry »

Three pioneers of neuroplasticity research discuss the present and future of rewiring the brain

neuroplasticity-A DISCUSSION WITH EVE MARDER, MICHAEL MERZENICH AND CARLA SHATZ (2016 KAVLI PRIZE IN NEUROSCIENCE):

“Our view of the brain as something constantly shaped by thought and experience is only a few decades old, yet it has profoundly influenced how we teach and treat, raise our young and care for the old.

Eve Marder, Michael Merzenich and Carla Shatz are three researchers who, in very different ways, have revealed that the brain is highly changeable, or plastic. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Job satisfaction in your 20s and 30s has a significant impact on your physical and mental health in your 40s

worker-brainsEarly job satisfaction has strong link to mental health (Learning & Development Professional):

“…the study found job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s has a link to overall health in your early 40s.

While job satisfaction had some impact on physical health, researchers found its effect was especially strong for mental health. Read the rest of this entry »

Next: Harnessing information and communications technology (ICT) to address mental health challenges affecting 700 million people today

Global mental healthMaking Mental Health a Global Priority (The Dana Foundation):

“Who hasn’t felt a sense of loss or detachment from our families, friends, and regular routines, or experienced nervousness and anxiety about changes in our personal and professional lives? Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: More healthcare and research facilities offer multipronged brain fitness programs

BrainFitnessJigsaw_webCan an exercise routine really help keep your mental “muscles” in good shape? (Harvard Health Letter):

“Fear of losing your memory and thinking skills is one of the greatest concerns of getting older. Maybe that’s behind the increasing number of clinics offering brain fitness programs. “Brain training” isn’t a typical exercise program; it incorporates a number of activities and lifestyle changes to help boost brain function. “It makes very good sense to promote cognitive health using a variety of approaches. I embrace it even as we await more data,” says Dr. Kirk Daffner, a neurologist and medical editor of the Harvard Special Health Report Improving Memory…Hospitals and research facilities offer brain fitness programs, and so do private practices. “Ideally you want people who have done this for a long time and who offer a multidisciplinary approach, with a neurologist, psychologist, social worker, physical therapist, and dietitian,” says Dr. Pascual-Leone.”

To learn more:

Survey: Do you think that brain training is a waste of time and money?

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