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Beating forgetfulness and boosting the brain

Very good arti­cle in Mar­ket­Watch titled Beat­ing for­get­ful­ness and boost­ing the brain. Prob­a­bly the best we have seen so far pro­vid­ing an over­all indus­try per­spec­tive on a nascent field. I rec­om­mend read­ing the whole arti­cle, but here you have some teasers:

  • “As boomers age, the drive to cor­rect such dis­com­fort has impli­ca­tions for health and well­ness, employ­ment and cor­po­rate train­ing — even sports. It’s giv­ing rise to a bur­geon­ing busi­ness of brain-boosting prod­ucts and ser­vices, as well as explo­ration into “cog­ni­tive enhanc­ing” pre­scrip­tion drugs.”
  • “The mar­ket for brain-fitness soft­ware tar­get­ing U.S. adults is esti­mated to be $80 mil­lion to $100 mil­lion this year, up from $60 mil­lion last year and $2 mil­lion in 2005, accord­ing to Sharp­Brains, a San Francisco-based por­tal that helps indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies nav­i­gate brain-training infor­ma­tion, prod­ucts and services.”
  • It’s also easy to con­fuse age-related mem­ory prob­lems with the effects of undi­ag­nosed depres­sion or anx­i­ety, which are reversible, said Dr. Gene Cohen, direc­tor of the Cen­ter on Aging, Health & Human­i­ties at George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity Med­ical Center”
  • “The busi­ness of brain train­ing started tak­ing off after Nin­tendo intro­duced its Brain Age to the U.S. mar­ket last year, said Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, chief exec­u­tive and co-founder of SharpBrains.”
  • “Brain fit­ness, in our view, is a lot broader than just healthy aging,” Fer­nan­dez said. The same con­cepts can be used to help kids with atten­tion deficit dis­or­ders or peo­ple who want to improve their periph­eral vision for the bas­ket­ball court, he said. It also can help pro­fes­sion­als man­age stress.
  • “Most peo­ple don’t under­stand the rela­tion­ship between stress and short-term mem­ory,” he said, not­ing that the part of the brain that deals with anger and stress can over­whelm the part respon­si­ble for rea­son­ing and decision-making. “For some peo­ple that’s the bottleneck.”
  • The good news is it’s never too late, Cohen said. “‘Use it or lose it’ has no end point in the life cycle.”

You can read the full arti­cle on VITAL SIGNS Beat­ing for­get­ful­ness and boost­ing the brain.

If you want a sci­en­tific per­spec­tive on what the arti­cle dis­cusses, you’ll enjoy our recent interviews

 

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