Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Brain Fitness news.

A cou­ple of good recent arti­cles:

(You can join our month­ly newslet­ter by sub­scrib­ing at the top of this page).

Brain Games will give adults all the chal­lenge they can han­dle

Bal­ti­more Sun, MD. Mar 22, 2007.The reporter pro­vides a great sur­vey of prod­ucts. The only parts I find miss­ing are:

1) what spe­cif­ic cog­ni­tive skill/s is/are being trained by each prod­uct? if we under­stand that the brain has a vari­ety of struc­tur­al and func­tion­al areas, it becomes evi­dent that dif­fer­ent pro­grams may be train­ing dif­fer­ent “men­tal mus­cles”.

2) How does each pro­gram enable the user mea­sure progress in an objec­tive way? I’d say this is the main dif­fer­ence between “games” and brain fit­ness pro­grams. If you have a wild­ly dif­fer­ent brain age every­time you try…that so-called brain age is not very cred­i­ble.

Does brain exer­cise fight demen­tia?
Min­neapo­lis Star Tri­bune (sub­scrip­tion), MN. Mar 18, 2007.As the arti­cle men­tions, no pro­gram can claim to “pre­vent Alzheimer’s”. And I haven’t seen Posit Sci­ence (or us) claim such a thing, or imply it. But what can be claimed is mean­ing­ful:

First, tar­get­ed men­tal exer­cise can help us improve our short-term qual­i­ty of life. When many of our clients do reg­u­lar brain exer­cise, they most often are inter­est­ed in improv­ing mem­o­ry and oth­er men­tal func­tions for the here and now; what may or may not hap­pen in 30 years is not the only rea­son to learn more about brain fit­ness.

Sec­ond, reg­u­lar brain exer­cise can slow the appear­ance of dis­ease relat­ed symp­toms. Stud­ies have shown that par­tic­u­lar­ly in the ear­ly stages of these dis­eases, the brain is still able to learn and change.

Learn­ing is neu­ro­pro­tec­tive by increas­ing neu­ronal con­nec­tions between neu­rons, increas­ing cel­lu­lar metab­o­lism, and increas­ing the pro­duc­tion of nerve growth fac­tor, a sub­stance pro­duced by your body to help main­tain and repair neu­rons.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, noth­ing avail­able today can ful­ly pre­vent these dis­eases from occur­ring. How­ev­er, reg­u­lar train­ing with a cog­ni­tive fit­ness pro­gram can post­pone the appear­ance of the cog­ni­tive symp­toms and build up your cog­ni­tive reserve.

Oth­er arti­cles:

Learn­ing Slows Phys­i­cal Pro­gres­sion of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease

I don’t want to ever retire. What can I do to remain sharp?

Cog­ni­tive Reserve and Lifestyle

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