Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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 »

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking applied brain science. Explore our most popular resources HERE.

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