Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Why financial analysts should grab a paint brush and a canvas (and artists do more math)

Which Brain Exercises Improve Memory Best? (Reader’s Digest):

“The exercises you do to keep your mind sharp may not be enough to improve memory over time, but new research from the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness reveals better ways to boost your brain health…If you can breeze through the Sunday puzzle, you are not doing your mind any favors. That’s because the key to a vibrant, healthy brain includes challenge and novelty…keep your brain fit with new activities that test various skills; a financial analyst may want to grab a paint brush and a canvas, for example. Even playing different types of puzzles–a crossword today, Sudoku tomorrow–is better than doing the same type over and over again.”

Learn more:

From crosswords and sudoku to individualized brain training

brainsMind Games? Gyms For The Brain Available Online (Investor’s Business Daily):

  • “If your New Year’s resolution is exercise — exercise your brain, that is — then cyberspace might be just the place for you… Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Training & Brain Teasers Can Increase Openness Among Older Adults

Brain Teasers Make Seniors More Open to New Ventures (medpage today):

– ” A cognitive training program that included Sudoku and crossword puzzles made older adults more open to new experiences, according to a preliminary study.”

– “Older adults undergo changes in personality, including shifts in openness or willingness to seek out new and cognitively challenging experiences. A number of interventions have been designed to enrich cognitive functioning in older adults, but little has been done to develop openness, the authors explained.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cars don’t work because they don’t fly

Study Questions Effectiveness Of $80 Million Per Year ‘Brain Exercise Products Industry for Elderly (Science Daily)

– “There is much research on the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation strategies among elderly who already experience mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease, as well as on the positive impact of physical exercise. The researchers, however, wanted to evaluate current research that would focus on the impact of cognitive interventions in the healthy elderly population.”

– “…they concluded that there was no evidence indicating that structured cognitive intervention programs had an impact on the progression of dementia in the healthy elderly population”

Comment:  we have not reviewed the analysis yet, so cannot comment in depth. However, just from the press release, we see a few potential problems in how the study was framed, reducing its practical value: Read the rest of this entry »

Wellness Coaching for Brain Health and Fitness

We just received this quote of how a major health system is using our Brain Fitness Market Report:

“At Sutter Health Partners we recognize the importance of brain health and how much the health of the brain and the body are interdependent.  The market report helped us further target our coaching efforts to integrate brain fitness and upgrade our entire coaching platform.  It is easy to read and gives you the industry perspective in a thorough yet concise manner.  I highly recommend it!”

— Margaret Sabin, CEO of Sutter Health Partners and VP, New Product Development, at Sutter Health.

You may wonder, “what is the link between  wellness coaching and brain fitness”?

In practice, good health and wellness coaches provide excellent brain health advice, given that the areas they focus on (nutrition, physical exercise, stress management) do play an important role in maintaining our brains in top shape.

Additionally, pioneers  such as Sutter Health Partners are adding a Brain “lens” to their work. How?

First, by better understanding and explaining the brain benefits of what they already do, in order to provide additional motivation to stick with healthy behaviors. For example, most people will be able to recite multiple benefits of moderate cardiovascular exercise. But how many know  that it can also contribute to neurogenesis -the creation of new neurons – in adult brains?

Second, by starting to offer brain fitness guidelines to clients who want too go beyond crossword puzzles and sudoku.

I had a great training session with a number of Sutter Health coaches last week – let me summarize some of the main points we covered. Read the rest of this entry »

Lee Woodruff: the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and You, can help Traumatic Brain Injury survivors

You have may have seen a few weeks ago the interview between former US presidential contender John Edwards and reporter Bob Woodruff. All the resulting media coverage centered on Edwards’ declarations. However, there is something much more remarkable that surfaced at that interview: Bob Woodruff’s spectacular recovery.

This is the same reporter who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when a roadside In an Instant - Bob and Lee Woodruffbomb detonated next to his vehicle in January 29th 2006 as he was covering news developments in Iraq.

Today we are fortunate to interview Lee Woodruff, Bob’s wife and pillar throughout his recovery. Lee and Bob co-wrote the fantastic book In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing.

Alvaro Fernandez: Lee, many thanks for your time. I was amazed reading your book, where you share your journey, and then watching Bob interview John Edwards, the best display I can imagine of his recovery. Can you please summarize for us what Bob -and you- went through since January 2006?

Lee Woodruff: As you know, Bob suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury in Iraq. He was promptly taken under military care and underwent a series of surgeries for head injuries, with a joint Army & Air Force neurosurgical team in Iraq, in a US Army Medical Command hospital in Germany, and at Bethesda Naval Hospital, back here in the US.

During this time, spanning around 4 months, he spent 37 days in coma, and his skull had to be surgically rebuilt. The cognitive rehabilitation process started then, at a medical facility closer home.

Can you please explain what kind of cognitive rehab Bob has gone though-both in a formal way, with a therapist, and informally, on his own?

The first thing I’d like to say is that rehab is a long process. Doctors told me that Bob, despite the severity of his injuries, had better chances to recover than other victims, because of the reserve of neurons and connections he had built thanks to Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Games for Kids, Adults…and Chimps

examples of working memoryDid you read about the recent experiment where young chimps displayed amazing visual working memory capability, beating humans? You can watch a short video about it 

And, you can now test your own skills with the Chimp Game!

 

PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cognitive ability.

 

Register at special low fees before July 31st

2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health

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