Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Occupational therapy study: Improving processing speed seen as key target to help patients with multiple sclerosis

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Decreased Activ­ity Lev­els in MS Patients Linked To Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment (Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis News):

A new study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Occu­pa­tional Ther­apy assessed the cog­ni­tive fac­tors affected in mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis patients con­cern­ing their activ­ity and par­tic­i­pa­tion in every­day life Read the rest of this entry »

Study: High television viewing and low physical activity can significantly worsen long-term cognitive function

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Too much TV, low phys­i­cal activ­ity may worsen cog­ni­tive func­tion (Med­ical News Today):

The team’s study included more than 3,200 adults aged 18–30…Over 25 years, the researchers recorded par­tic­i­pants’ tele­vi­sion view­ing time and phys­i­cal activ­ity levels…In the study, high tele­vi­sion view­ing was defined as more than 4 hours daily, while low phys­i­cal activ­ity was defined as 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 »

Monitoring cognition via mobile applications: iPad app analyzed

We recently came across a fas­ci­nat­ing sci­en­tific study, titled Exam­in­ing cog­ni­tive func­tion across the lifes­pan using a mobile appli­ca­tion (Com­put­ers in Human Behav­ior), which stud­ied the value and lim­i­ta­tions of using an iPad app called “brain­base­line.”

Abstract: “Many stud­ies con­ducted in a lab­o­ra­tory or uni­ver­sity set­ting are lim­ited by fund­ing, per­son­nel, space, and time con­straints. In the present study, Read the rest of this entry »

Research: Does Nintendo Brain Age work as a brain training game?

A new study tries to, but unfor­tu­nately doesn’t, answer that ques­tion. Study: Brain Train­ing Game Improves Exec­u­tive Func­tions and Pro­cess­ing Speed in the Elderly: A Ran­dom­ized Con­trolled Trial (PLoS ONE).

Con­clu­sions: Our results showed that play­ing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cog­ni­tive func­tions (exec­u­tive func­tions and pro­cess­ing speed) in the elderly. This result indi­cated that there is a pos­si­bil­ity which the elderly could improve exec­u­tive func­tions and pro­cess­ing speed in short term train­ing. The results need repli­ca­tion in large sam­ples. Long-term effects and rel­e­vance for every-day func­tion­ing remain uncer­tain as yet.” Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Cognitive Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

We just came across a new sci­en­tific study on the value and lim­i­ta­tions of cog­ni­tive train­ing in Mild Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment (MCI), based on a pro­gram of cog­ni­tive exer­cises pro­vided by Lumos Labs (devel­op­ers of lumosity.com).

Study: Com­put­erised Cog­ni­tive Train­ing for Older Per­sons With Mild Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment: A Pilot Study Using a Ran­domised Con­trolled Trial Design (Brain Impair­ment): Read the rest of this entry »

New Interview Series (Part 1 of 10): Why Care About Brain Fitness Innovation?

Every Mon­day dur­ing the next 10 weeks we’ll dis­cuss here what lead­ing indus­try, sci­ence and pol­icy experts –all of whom will speak at the upcom­ing 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit (March 30th — April 1st, 2011)– have to say about emerg­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges to address, over the next 10 years, the grow­ing brain-related soci­etal demands.

With­out fur­ther ado, here you have what four Sum­mit Speak­ers say…

Alvaro Pascual-Leone is the Direc­tor of the Berenson-Allen Cen­ter for Non-Invasive Brain Stim­u­la­tion at Har­vard Med­ical School.

1. How would you define “brain fit­ness” vs. “phys­i­cal fit­ness”?

Phys­i­cal fit­ness can refer to an over­all or gen­eral state of health and well-being. How­ever, it is also often used more specif­i­cally to refer to the abil­ity to per­form a given activ­ity, occu­pa­tion, or sport.

Sim­i­larly brain fit­ness might be used to refer to a gen­eral state of healthy, opti­mized brain func­tion, or a more spe­cific brain-based abil­ity to process cer­tain, spe­cific infor­ma­tion, enable cer­tain motor actions, or sup­port cer­tain cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties. Impor­tantly though, I would argue Read the rest of this entry »