By: Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa @ Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation
As the president and medical director of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), it’s my job to stay on top of advances in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Recently, a number of articles in the medical literature have caught my attention. They are focused on a particular question that concerns most Baby Boomers like me: “Is memory loss just a normal part of aging?” Read the rest of this entry »
Below you can find the full transcript of our engaging Q&A session yesterday on holistic brain health with clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Paul Nussbaum, author of Save Your Brain. You can learn more about the full Brain Fitness Q&A Series Here.
Perhaps one of the best exchanges was: Read the rest of this entry »
Below you can find the full transcript of our engaging Q&A session today on memory, memory techniques and brain-healthy lifestyles with Dr. Gary Small, Director of UCLA’s Memory Clinic and Center on Aging, and author of The Memory Bible. You can learn more about his book Here, and learn more about upcoming Brain Fitness Q&A Sessions Here.
Perhaps one of the best questions and answers was:
Question: Gary, you’ve worked many years in this field. Let us in on the secret. What do YOU do you, personally, to promote your own brain fitness?
Answer: I try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic conditioning each day; try to minimize my stress by staying connected with family and friends; generally eat a brain healthy diet (fish, fruits, vegetables), and try to balance my online time with my offline time. Which reminds me, I think it is almost time for me to sign off line. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Dr. Pascale Michelon
In a recent post we saw that music may help people with dementia learn new facts. This article explores another relationship between music and dementia: playing a musical instrument, even as an amateur, may protect the brain later on against dementia-related damages.
Researchers had 70 people ages 60 to 83 perform a variety of tests to measure visuospatial memory, ability to name objects, the brain’s ability to adapt to new information […] those who had engaged in musical activity for 10 years or longer scored substantially better than those with no musical activity in their past.
the longer people play instruments, the more benefits they may derive.
All were amateurs who had started playing when they were 10 years old. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Kenneth S. Kosik, MD, and Ellen Clegg, authors of a recent book on Alzheimer’s Disease prevention and treatment, forcefully propose a new framework and model for brain care: What about setting up “cognitive shops” as “a sort of one-stop shopping for everything from Alzheimer’s disease prevention to guided care for mild or moderate disease”. What follows is the thought-provoking conclusion section from their book “The Alzheimer’s Solution. How Today’s Care Is Failing Millions and How We Can Do Better” (reproduced with permission), not very different from the “brain fitness center” model we have talked about in the past.
Chapter 10. CONCLUSIONS
Just as the idea of hospice care revolutionized death and dying in America, the idea of bundling many aspects of Alzheimer’s care under one roof in a cognitive shop could change the way we approach this dire disease—one that has no cure and leaves no survivors. Certainly, the scope of the problem poses medical and economic risks for the country. These risks, and potential steps for a solution, were charted by the bipartisan Alzheimer Study Group in the spring of 2009. The report, issued by the Alzheimer Study Group co-chaired by former congressman Newt Gingrich and former senator Bob Kerrey, minces few words. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Alvaro Fernandez
A beautiful initiative, featured in the New York Times today:
Coming Full Circle:
- “In a typical Montessori classroom, teachers use category-sorting exercises to help young students see patterns and connections. But the participants in this group were mostly in their 80s and on the other side of the cognitive development curve. They are residents at an assisted-living facility for people with dementia called Hearthstone at the Esplanade, which has six other homes in New York State and Massachusetts. Since July the residents have participated in a full-time program of Montessori-based activities designed for people with memory deficiencies.”
- “A common misconception about people with dementia, Dr. Camp said, is that they no longer learn. But they do: residents learn to find their dining room table, for example, well after the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. And because they no longer have the higher brain function they had as adults, he reasoned, they are well suited to Montessori.”
Full article: Coming Full Circle.
- Alzheimer’s Risk and Prevention: the Cognitive Reserve
- Your comments on cognitive training, Posit Science, Alzheimer’s Australia, gerontology, games
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Ever wondered what explains the sometimes surreal, often misguided, health policies by our government? Well, it is beyond our humble brains to capture and articulate what may be going on…but we now see that lack of access to quality information is certainly not the main problem. Decision-making processes, and structural incentives, would probably merit more attention.…
I mention this because we are really impressed by the just-published 24-page special issue on Preventing Memory Loss by Congressional Quarterly Researcher, one of the main publications in Capitol Hill.
The publication is not free, but worth the price for anyone active professionally in the healthcare sector, or interested in learning about latest research and policy trends, from academics to students. You can buy Buy the Electronic PDF ($4.95) or Buy the Printed Copy ($15 — $5 discount using promotion code “L8BRAIN” = $10).
As the nation’s baby boomers age, they are increasingly worried that their memories will deteriorate — and with good reason. An estimated 10 million boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease or another memory-destroying neurodegenerative condition in the coming years. Policy makers and health officials worry that the resulting bulge in the number of sufferers will burden the nation’s already strained health-care system. In the wake of these concerns, a vibrant brain-fitness industry is offering a variety of ways to help people keep their brains healthy, including the use of cognition-enhancing drugs and exercise. But many experts say much of what the public is being told is of limited value, at best. Intensified brain research begun years ago at the National Institutes of Health is just now beginning to produce data that scientists hope will advance efforts to prevent memory loss, but they worry that flat federal funding since 2003 may compromise the drive for solutions.
Read the rest of this entry »