Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The neuroscience of positive, vision-based coaching

Good coaches get results, respect, and awards. But what makes a coach or men­tor good?

One school of thought says they should hold their mentees to spe­cific per­for­mance bench­marks and help them reach those bench­marks by tar­get­ing their per­sonal weaknesses.

But new research sug­gests a dif­fer­ent tack—namely, to nur­ture a mentee’s strengths, aspi­ra­tions for the future, and goals for per­sonal growth. Indeed, Read the rest of this entry »

Transcript: Online Q&A on the Future of Brain Health with Alvaro Fernandez

Below you can find the full tran­script of our engag­ing Q&A ses­sion today, Fri­day March 16th, on brain sus­tain­abil­ity, retool­ing brain health, and applied neu­ro­plas­tic­ity, with Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, Sharp­Brains’ Co-Founder who’s just been named a Young Global Leader by the World Eco­nomic Forum. You can learn more about the topic by read­ing this 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit Meet­ing Report and this Info­graphic.

10:04
Great, we are ready to start!  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 »

Transcript: Dr. Gary Small on Enhancing Memory and the Brain

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:

2:55
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?
2:57
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 »

A User’s Guide to Lifelong Brain Health: BrainFit for Life

As the Brain Fit­ness indus­try con­tin­ues to gain momen­tum, and peo­ple explore all the incred­i­ble brain-training tools being devel­oped, we hope that enthu­si­asts don’t take their eye off the impor­tance of the phys­i­cal health of the brain and all the sys­tems it com­mu­ni­cates with. The brain is unique in that it houses our cog­ni­tive and emo­tional capac­i­ties in the form of the mind. It is a ‘cog­ni­tive’ organ that hungers for stim­u­la­tion from new expe­ri­ences and chal­lenges. Many brain fit­ness pro­grams strive to sat­isfy this need. Yet the brain is also a phys­i­cal organ that plays by many of the same rules as the heart, lungs, liver and kid­neys. To stay healthy and per­form opti­mally it requires qual­ity nutri­tion, phys­i­cal activ­ity and opti­mal sleep. The brain, espe­cially, relies on a healthy vas­cu­lar sys­tem to effi­ciently deliver oxy­gen and key nutri­ents and remove waste. In fact, the brain uses approx­i­mately 20% of the oxy­gen we breathe to sat­isfy its high-energy demands. Given that the brain only weighs about 2% of the body, we can con­sider it an energy hog and we must cater to its needs very carefully.

Nutri­ents play key roles in brain func­tion. Sev­eral have shown effi­cacy in clin­i­cal tri­als treat­ing cases of mood dis­or­ders, cog­ni­tive decline and of course ben­e­fit­ing the phys­i­cal health of the brain. Nutri­ents are both the raw mate­ri­als employed in cre­at­ing new neural con­nec­tions and Read the rest of this entry »

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Brain Health

Larry McLeary

Try eat­ing food with one chop stick.

It is pos­si­ble, for cer­tain types of food. But prob­a­bly not the best approach.

Let’s now talk brain health.

Dr. Larry McCleary is a for­mer act­ing Chief of Pedi­atric Neu­ro­surgery at Den­ver Children’s Hos­pi­tal, and author of the The Brain Trust Pro­gram (Perigee Trade, 2007). He agreed to help us answer an impor­tant, yet often neglected, ques­tion: Given That We Are Our Brains, How do We Nour­ish Them?

Alvaro: Dr. McCleary, Why did a for­mer neu­ro­sur­geon such as your­self develop an inter­est in brain health pub­lic education?

Dr. McCleary: For two rea­sons … I am a Boomer and am try­ing to max­i­mize my own brain health. Also, there is much excit­ing research doc­u­ment­ing how we can be proac­tive in this regard. This infor­ma­tion needs to be dis­sem­i­nated and I would like to help in this process.

And what is the sin­gle most impor­tant brain-related idea or con­cept that you would like every per­son in the planet to fully understand?

The most impor­tant take home mes­sage about brain health is that we now know that no mat­ter what your brain sta­tus or age, there is much you can do to sig­nif­i­cantly improve brain func­tion and slow brain aging. Based on emerg­ing infor­ma­tion, what is espe­cially nice is the fact that unlike many things in life our brain health is largely under own control.

What are the most impor­tant ele­ments to nour­ish our brains as we age?

I approach this ques­tion much like an ath­lete pre­pares for com­pe­ti­tion. They uti­lize a holis­tic approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Preventing Memory Loss-CQ Researcher

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 Preventing Memory Loss 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).

Descrip­tion

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 »

Learn about the 2014 SharpBrains Summit in 2 minutes

Watch Larry King’s interview

» Click HERE in the USA, or HERE else­where (opens 28-min program)

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