Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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To stimulate your brain, find new ways to challenge yourself every day

woman brain activity surroundings—–

For Effective Brain Fitness, Do More Than Play Simple Games (The New York Times):

“…Legions of baby boomers already use computers or apps to stimulate the brain, but they should be thought of as part of a larger engagement with the world…Finding new ways to challenge yourself every day, Mr. Rebok said, is a good idea. This can include lots of ordinary activities like doing mental calculations rather than reaching for a calculator, or taking a new driving route or eating with the opposite hand…

Mr. Fernandez of SharpBrains said he would like to see a more systematic way to measure cognition, such as annual mental health checkups. “If we had better assessments, we could empower consumers,” he said. “That’s the next frontier.”

To learn more:

Out: crossword puzzles. In: digital cognitive assessments and training

brain_mindDo brain games work? (The Boston Globe):

“There’s intense interest?—?and the potential for big money?—?in the world of brain games. Lumosity…claims 60 million users…The market for Lumosity and competitors like Cogmed and Posit Science is growing 25 percent a year, according to SharpBrains, a neuro-wellness research firm. Read the rest of this entry »

Who will be the personal brain trainers of the future?

brainBrain-fitness industry caters to worried boomers (Crain’s):

“Mr. Fernandez…compares the brain-fitness industry of today with the physical-fitness industry of half a century or more ago. Whereas once there were no health clubs or personal trainers, today they’re ubiquitous. “Who will be the personal brain trainers of the future?” he says. “Are they going to be doctors, life coaches, neuropsychologists? Will health clubs Read the rest of this entry »

Brain training works: Study finds 10-year benefit from 10-hour training

Brain TrainingBrain training helped older adults stay sharp for years -study (Reuters):

  • “A brief course of brain exercises helped older adults hold on to improvements in reasoning skills and processing speed for 10 years after the course ended, according to results from the largest study ever done on cognitive training.  Read the rest of this entry »

From Anti-Alzheimer’s “Magic Bullets” to True Brain Health

If you followed latest headlines surrounding the release of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, you’d probably conclude that the likely solution to maintain lifelong brain health is simple: simply wait until 2025 for a “magic bullet” to be discovered, to cure (or end or prevent) Alzheimer’s disease and aging associated cognitive decline. These kinds of beliefs, often reinforced by doctors and advertising, may explain the billions spent today by pharma companies on discovering new compounds, and by consumers on supplements like ginkgo biloba. But Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom – Part 4: The Future

Building Blocks for a Better Future

The best alternative for tomorrow should be better than the best alternative available today. How do we get there, when “cognition” and “brain fitness” remain elusive concepts in popular culture? I believe that the lack of public education is the major obstacle that limits the brain fitness field’s potential to deliver real-world benefits, since only informed demand will ensure the ongoing development of rational, structured “rules of the road.” What could be done to address this and other particular obstacles? Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom – Part 3: The Real Need

Engaging people where they are in the life-course

Eighty percent of the 38,000 adults over age 50 who were responders in the 2010 AARP Member Opinion Survey indicated “staying mentally sharp” was their top ranked interest and concern (Dinger, 2010). What exactly does this phrase mean? And what role can technology play in “staying mentally sharp”? Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said, “You have to start by thinking about what people want to do… and work backward.” Read the rest of this entry »

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