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Do we all have a “brain age”?

Do we all have a “brain age”? Are all brain exer­cises equal? Does aging mean decline?

Answering these questions probably requires to debunk a few myths about the brain.

Understanding how our brain functions can help understand how it is possible for our brain to change, and what we can do to make these changes happen. This is why knowing how our brain works is the first habit to acquire on the road to boosting brain functions.

Wouldn’t it be very hard for a musician to get better at playing the clarinet if he didn’t know that it is the air that his mouth pulses into the instrument that creates its sounds? In the same way limited knowledge about the brain may be one of the reasons why many people do not take action to try to optimize the way their brain work.

Here are 10 Brain and Brain Fitness Myths, debunked for you:

MYTHS
FACTS
1. Genes deter­mine the fate of our brains. Life­long neu­ro­plas­tic­ity allows our lifestyles and actions to play a mean­ing­ful role in how our brains phys­i­cally evolve, espe­cially given longer life expectancy.
2. Aging means auto­matic decline. There is noth­ing inher­ently fixed in the pre­cise tra­jec­tory of how brain func­tions evolve as we age.
3. Med­ica­tion is the main hope for cog­ni­tive enhancement. Non-invasive inter­ven­tions can have com­pa­ra­ble and more durable effects, side effect-free.
4. We will soon have a Magic Pill or Gen­eral Solu­tion to solve all our cog­ni­tive challenges. A multi-pronged approach is rec­om­mended, cen­tered around nutri­tion, stress man­age­ment, and both phys­i­cal and men­tal exercise.
5. There is only one “it” in “Use It or Lose it”. The brain is com­posed of a num­ber of spe­cial­ized units. Our life and pro­duc­tiv­ity depend on a vari­ety of brain func­tions, not just one.
6. All brain activ­i­ties or exer­cises are equal. Var­ied and tar­geted exer­cises are the nec­es­sary ingre­di­ents in brain train­ing so that a wide range of brain func­tions can be stimulated.
7. There is only one way to train your brain. Brain func­tions can be impacted in a num­ber of ways: through med­i­ta­tion, cog­ni­tive ther­apy, cog­ni­tive training.
8. We all have some­thing called brain age. Brain age is a fic­tion. No two indi­vid­u­als have the exact same brain or expres­sion of brain functions.
9. That brain age can be reversed by 10, 20, 30 years. Brain train­ing can improve spe­cific brain func­tions, but, with research avail­able today, can­not be said to roll back one brain age by a num­ber of years.
10. All human brains need the same brain training. As in phys­i­cal fit­ness, users must ask them­selves: What func­tions do I need to improve on? In what time frame? What is my budget?

This table comes from The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. Consider reading the book to learn more brain maintenance and what products are available to keep your brain sharp.

Keep learn­ing by read­ing more arti­cles in the Resources sec­tion

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