Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Smart Brains, Sharp Brain… new research on maintaining one

There has been a lot of recent buzz about brain fit­ness. A New York Times edi­to­r­i­al print­ed today states:

When test­ed five years lat­er, these par­tic­i­pants [in a cog­ni­tive train­ing study] had less of a decline in the skill they were trained in than did a con­trol group that received no cog­ni­tive train­ing. The pay­off from men­tal exer­cise seemed far greater than we are accus­tomed to get­ting for phys­i­cal exer­cise — as if 10 work­outs at the gym were enough to keep you fit five years lat­er.


If fur­ther stud­ies show that men­tal exer­cis­es can improve every­day func­tion­ing, doc­tors may need to pre­scribe such train­ing, senior cen­ters may want to set up “brain gyms,” and aging Amer­i­cans would be wise to do brain-stretch­ing activ­i­ties. For this pur­pose, even the Medicare pre­scrip­tion drug pro­gram, which crit­ics deem too con­fus­ing for many old­er peo­ple to nav­i­gate, could prove an unex­pect­ed bless­ing. Spend 10 hours mas­ter­ing its intri­ca­cies today and you could be a lot sharp­er than your com­pa­tri­ots five years from now.

To read the com­plete, orig­i­nal study pub­lished in JAMA, read The Ben­e­fits of Brain Exercises/Brain Fit­ness.

IHRSA, the Inter­na­tion­al Health, Rac­quet & Sports­club Asso­ci­a­tion, print­ed this arti­cle on men­tal mus­cles with sug­ges­tions on how to add brain work­outs to your tra­di­tion­al phys­i­cal work­outs. Essen­tial­ly, humans need both phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise for good brain health.

Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can also wrote an arti­cle on Brain Gain: Men­tal Exer­cise Makes Elder­ly Minds More Fit. One of the study co-authors is quot­ed as say­ing

To dri­ve this effect, you have to prac­tice things that you don’t like or things you don’t reg­u­lar­ly prac­tice,” Mar­siske says. “We hope to find ways of mak­ing these train­ing pro­grams more wide­ly avail­able to peo­ple and begin to encour­age some­thing more like men­tal exer­cise.”

As we have men­tioned before when talk­ing about key ingre­di­ents for a brain fit­ness pro­gram, you need: nov­el­ty, vari­ety, and stretch­ing prac­tice (increas­ing chal­lenge over time). Com­put­er­ized pro­grams do the best job of reli­ably meet­ing these cri­te­ria, but doing any­thing is bet­ter than doing noth­ing!

If you are still uncer­tain as to what is Brain Fit­ness, then feel free to down­load a com­pli­men­ta­ry copy of our new­ly released Brain Fit­ness for Sharp Brains: Your New New Year Res­o­lu­tion. We wrote this guide as a plain Eng­lish intro­duc­tion to the con­cept, sci­ence, and prac­tice of brain fit­ness by answer­ing 25 ques­tions we have received over the last four months.

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  1. bala says:

    it is a very good arti­cle -thanks

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