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To reduce ADHD epidemic, promote (concussion-free) sports and physical activity programs?

brainimaging_cognitivetasksExer­cise Is ADHD Med­ica­tion (The Atlantic): “This morn­ing the med­ical jour­nal Pedi­atrics pub­lished research that found kids who took part in a reg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­ity pro­gram showed impor­tant enhance­ment of cog­ni­tive per­for­mance and brain func­tion. The findings…“demonstrate a causal effect of a phys­i­cal pro­gram on exec­u­tive con­trol, and pro­vide sup­port for phys­i­cal activ­ity for improv­ing child­hood cog­ni­tion Read the rest of this entry »

Aerobic Exercise or Weight Training to Boost Brain Function?

Aer­o­bic exer­cise is the kind of exer­cise that has been con­sis­tently shown to trig­ger the growth of both brain cells and new con­nec­tions between them, boost­ing cog­ni­tive func­tions. It has also been asso­ci­ated with lower risks of devel­op­ing Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Is it the case that other types of phys­i­cal exer­cise can also ben­e­fit the brain? Evi­dence is more lim­ited, but a new study sug­gests that weight train­ing may be a likely can­di­date to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Research: How Exercise Benefits the Brain

How Exer­cise Ben­e­fits the Brain (NewYork Times):

To learn more about how exer­cise affects the brain, sci­en­tists in Ire­land recently asked a group of seden­tary male col­lege stu­dents to take part in a mem­ory test fol­lowed by stren­u­ous exercise.

First, the young men watched a rapid-fire lineup of pho­tos with the faces and names of strangers. After a break, they tried to recall the names they had just seen as the pho­tos again zipped across a com­puter screen. Read the rest of this entry »

Transcript: Paul Nussbaum on Meditation, Neuropsychology and Thanksgiving

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 »

Promoting Healthy, Meaningful Aging Through Social Involvement: Building an Experience Corps

(Editor’s note: Path­ways respon­si­ble for higher-order think­ing in the pre­frontal cor­tex (PFC), or exec­u­tive cen­ter of the brain, remain vul­ner­a­ble through­out life—during crit­i­cal early-life devel­op­men­tal win­dows, when the PFC fully matures in the early 20s, and finally from declines asso­ci­ated with old age. At all ages, phys­i­cal activ­ity and PFC-navigated social con­nec­tions are essen­tial com­po­nents to main­tain­ing brain health. The Expe­ri­ence Corps, a community-based social-engagement pro­gram, part­ners seniors with local schools to pro­mote purpose-driven involve­ment. Par­tic­i­pat­ing seniors have exhib­ited imme­di­ate short-term gains in brain regions vul­ner­a­ble to aging, such as the PFC, indi­cat­ing that peo­ple with the most to lose have the most to gain from envi­ron­men­tal enrichment.)

Over the last decade, sci­en­tists made two key dis­cov­er­ies that reframed our under­stand­ing of the adult brain’s poten­tial to ben­e­fit from life­long envi­ron­men­tal enrich­ment. First, they learned that the adult brain remains plas­tic; it can gen­er­ate new neu­rons in response to phys­i­cal activ­ity and new expe­ri­ences. Sec­ond, they con­firmed the impor­tance of social con­nect­ed­ness to late-life cog­ni­tive, psy­cho­log­i­cal, and phys­i­cal health. The inte­gra­tion of these find­ings with our under­stand­ing of indi­vid­u­als’ devel­op­men­tal needs through­out life under­scores the impor­tance of the “social brain.” The pre­frontal cor­tex (PFC) is par­tic­u­larly inte­gral to nav­i­gat­ing com­plex social behav­iors and hier­ar­chies over the life course. Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s Disease: New Survey and Research Study on Awareness, Testing and Prevention

Very inter­est­ing new data rein­forc­ing two main themes we have been ana­lyz­ing for a while:
1) We bet­ter start pay­ing seri­ous atten­tion (and R&D dol­lars) to lifestyle-based and non-invasive cog­ni­tive and emo­tional health inter­ven­tions, which are mostly ignored in favor of inva­sive, drug-based options
2) Inter­ven­tions will need to be per­son­al­ized. The study below ana­lyzes data at the coun­try level, but the same logic applies to the indi­vid­ual level

Many fear Alzheimer’s, want to be tested: sur­vey (Reuters):

- “The tele­phone sur­vey of 2,678 adults aged 18 and older in the United States, France, Ger­many, Spain and Poland was con­ducted by researchers at the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health and Read the rest of this entry »

Exercise as a Treatment for ADHD

Although I no longer main­tain a clin­i­cal prac­tice, for years I worked with chil­dren with ADHD and their fam­i­lies. One thing I heard from many par­ents was that their child responded well to phys­i­cal exer­cise, that it helped their chil­dren burn off excess energy and main­tain a calmer and more focused state.

Indeed, evi­dence from sev­eral large-scale exper­i­men­tal stud­ies sug­gests that phys­i­cal activ­ity train­ing can have a pos­i­tive influ­ence on children’s cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing. Read the rest of this entry »

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