Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Online Brain Fitness Gym

See our sec­ond press release below, and vis­it our Press Room for the great press we are start­ing to get about our brain fit­ness gym.

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Sharp­Brains intro­duces First Online Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter

Unique, Full-Ser­vice, Sci­ence-Based Fit­ness Cen­ter Ush­ers in the Next Work­out Rev­o­lu­tion: Men­tal Exer­cise

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thirty years after the emer­gence of the exer­cise boom, the fit­ness rev­o­lu­tion has final­ly gone to peo­ple’s heads: SharpBrains.com has launched the first online brain fit­ness cen­ter. Com­plete with a vari­ety of sci­ence-based men­tal exer­cise equip­ment, per­son­al brain train­ers, and near­ly 200 arti­cles, inter­ac­tive blog post­ings and inter­views with indus­try experts, Sharp­Brains is spear­head­ing the evo­lu­tion of the fit­ness indus­try to include a sound mind as well as a healthy body.

The new men­tal exer­cise move­ment is found­ed on using struc­tured, com­put­er-based brain fit­ness rou­tines tai­lored to each mem­ber’s spe­cif­ic needs and lev­el of abil­i­ty. Just as crunch­es and kick-box­ing tone abs and increase car­dio strength, pro­grams offered at the brain fit­ness cen­ter tar­get and help train essen­tial core men­tal mus­cles to improve mem­o­ry, con­cen­tra­tion, stress man­age­ment, and deci­sion-mak­ing skills. Men­tal exer­cise has also been shown to help delay the onset of age-relat­ed decline and even demen­tias such as Alzheimer’s Dis­ease.

Peo­ple are real­iz­ing that cross-train­ing their brains in addi­tion to their bod­ies is essen­tial to over-all health,” said Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and co-founder of Sharp­Brains. “We pre­dict the same surge in brain exer­cise that occurred with phys­i­cal fit­ness in the 70’s. Every­one from first graders to busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als to retired adults is now focus­ing on the total fit­ness pack­age, and the online brain fit­ness cen­ter offers a com­plete, well-round­ed men­tal work­out and sup­port sys­tem for most needs.”

JOINING THE FITNESS CENTER

Sim­i­lar to join­ing a phys­i­cal fit­ness gym, vis­i­tors to SharpBrains.com are encour­aged to com­plete a brief ques­tion­naire to iden­ti­fy what their brain fit­ness goals are. Based on their needs, one or more brain fit­ness pro­grams are sug­gest­ed to help them attain those goals. If an indi­vid­ual seeks help in an area that Sharp­Brains does not present­ly address, such as audi­to­ry pro­cess­ing, Sharp­Brains’ non-biased eval­u­a­tion may link the indi­vid­ual with an out­side, sci­ence-based resource spe­cif­ic to his or her needs.

Once mem­bers receive a pro­gram either by mail or via down­load from a secure site, they will take one or more assess­ments to deter­mine their start­ing lev­el and in which areas of brain fit­ness they need the most help. The pro­gram then tai­lors the activ­i­ties to the mem­bers’ needs and tracks their progress over time.

Time com­mit­ment varies with each pro­gram, but gen­er­al­ly only 30 min­utes, three times a week, are need­ed to achieve a pro­gram’s intend­ed results, such as improv­ing focus or reduc­ing stress. And unlike a phys­i­cal work­out, the user’s brain will feel invig­o­rat­ed imme­di­ate­ly after, not drained and tired.

EDUCATION AND COACH FEEDBACK

Sharp­Brains has the most com­plete selec­tion of proven sci­ence-based brain pro­grams, offer­ing solu­tions for men­tal stim­u­la­tion as well as stress man­age­ment, a key inhibitor of short-term mem­o­ry and judg­ment. The online fit­ness cen­ter also has the Web’s most exten­sive archive of edu­ca­tion­al infor­ma­tion with 170 arti­cles on train­ing the brain, plus a com­pre­hen­sive “Brain Fit­ness 101 guide” that takes mem­bers through the sci­ence of men­tal exer­cise and answers their top 25 ques­tions with straight­for­ward, easy-to-under­stand lan­guage.

In addi­tion, the exclu­sive online forum edu­cates mem­bers about the tech­nol­o­gy behind the pro­grams and pro­vides access to Sharp­Brains’ brain fit­ness coach­es who per­son­al­ly answer mem­bers’ ques­tions about the exer­cise pro­grams.

The sup­port, infor­ma­tion exchange and one-on-one guid­ance we’re able to pro­vide is unlike any­thing else online,” said Neal Cohen, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, and Sharp­Brains’ head coach. “These ser­vices take us far beyond the capa­bil­i­ties of com­pa­nies that just sell prod­ucts and estab­lish us as a com­plete online brain fit­ness cen­ter.”

SCIENCE BEHIND MENTAL EXERCISE

The brain main­tains and devel­ops its cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties through neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, the cre­ation of new neu­rons and den­drites, the hair-like pro­jec­tions that con­nect each neu­ron to its neigh­bors. If these new neu­rons don’t stay active, they lose their con­nec­tions and the body dis­cards them. In addi­tion, stress can inhib­it their rate of cre­ation.

How­ev­er, in the same way that phys­i­cal exer­cise pro­motes mus­cle growth, recent research has demon­strat­ed that tar­get­ed men­tal exer­cise pro­motes neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis,” said Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­o­gy at New York Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine and Chief Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­sor & Co-Founder of Sharp­Brains. “This process works most effec­tive­ly through struc­tured brain fit­ness train­ing pro­grams that uti­lize nov­el­ty and vari­ety, and reg­u­lar­ly increase their chal­lenge to the brain. Thus over time, brain train­ing and stress reduc­tion are the best ways to max­i­mize the num­ber of neu­rons and den­drites that an indi­vid­ual cre­ates and retains.”

Brain train­ing can not only improve atten­tion, mem­o­ry and stress man­age­ment skills in the short term, but also can delay deficits due to aging or dis­ease in the long term. Stud­ies pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion and Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science in 2002, 2006 and 2007 showed that men­tal stim­u­la­tion in old­er adults rang­ing from learn­ing a new activ­i­ty to struc­tured men­tal exer­cise sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced their risk of demen­tia, includ­ing Alzheimer’s Dis­ease.

PROGRAMS

Sharp­Brains present­ly offers sev­er­al inter­ac­tive com­put­er pro­grams tar­get­ing dif­fer­ent men­tal mus­cles, includ­ing:

  • Mind­Fit is designed to help adults main­tain a sharp, agile mind through exer­cis­es for mem­o­ry, prob­lem-solv­ing, plan­ning, and oth­er skills.
  • Freeze-Framer® Inter­ac­tive Learn­ing Sys­tem is a bio­met­rics feed­back-based soft­ware pro­gram designed to teach users to pre­vent and man­age the neg­a­tive effects of stress, which have been linked with mem­o­ry loss and sub-opti­mal per­for­mance in school, work, and sports.
  • Intel­li­Gym teach­es “game-intel­li­gence” skills to pro­fes­sion­al and ama­teur bas­ket­ball play­ers includ­ing coor­di­na­tion, atten­tion con­trol, periph­er­al vision, per­cep­tion, and men­tal sta­mi­na.
  • RoboMemo is a work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing pro­gram shown to help chil­dren with atten­tion deficits improve their over­all con­di­tion and exec­u­tive func­tion­ing.

More pro­grams are sched­uled for future release.

ABOUT SHARPBRAINS

Found­ed in 2006, Sharp­Brains is an online brain fit­ness cen­ter with state-of-the-art sci­ence-based infor­ma­tion and pro­grams to help peo­ple of all ages find and fol­low the best pro­grams to meet their spe­cif­ic objec­tives. Thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als and dozens of cen­ters are using the pro­grams that Sharp­Brains is now offer­ing. Sharp­Brains’ unpar­al­leled Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Board is led by Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­o­gy at New York Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine, Diplo­mate of The Amer­i­can Board of Pro­fes­sion­al Psy­chol­o­gy in Clin­i­cal Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy, author of The Exec­u­tive Brain and The Wis­dom Para­dox, and Chief Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­sor & Co-Founder of Sharp­Brains. Part­ner­ships include Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing (ACE), Cogmed, Vig­or­ous Mind, The Insti­tute of Heart­Math and the San Fran­cis­co Osh­er Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute (OLLI), through which Sharp­Brains has been offer­ing the pop­u­lar Exer­cis­ing Our Brains class. For more infor­ma­tion about Brain Fit­ness, Sharp­Brains and its asso­ci­at­ed prod­ucts, please vis­it www.SharpBrains.com.

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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