Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Cognitive Health Roadmap by the CDC and Alzheimer’s Association

Hel­lo, this is Andreas again, the MD/ PhD stu­dent in cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science and new sum­mer intern here.

Cognitive/ brain health is final­ly get­ting more atten­tion by Pub­lic offi­cials. On June 10th the Nation­al Pub­lic Health Road Map to Main­tain­ing Cog­ni­tive Health was released by the CDC and the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion. The authors pro­pose a set of 44 actions to reach a lofty goal: To main­tain or improve the cog­ni­tive per­for­mance of all adults. This is great tim­ing, giv­en all the research and media atten­tion that this field is get­ting.

I want to share with you the 10 top actions pro­posed by this report:

1) To deter­mine how diverse audi­ences think about cog­ni­tive health and its asso­ci­a­tions with lifestyle fac­tors. This work has all-ready yield­ed in a phe­nom­e­nal report on Baby boomers’ cur­rent opin­ion of Brain Health and Fit­ness.

2) To dis­sem­i­nate the lat­est sci­ence to increase pub­lic under­stand­ing of cog­ni­tive health and to dis­pel com­mon mis­con­cep­tions. The dis­cov­ery of life­long neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis has giv­en us a new pos­i­tive view
upon the human brain — This is still a con­cept not many know of. “Use it or lose it” and “Use It and Get More of It” needs to reach all peo­ple. See this good overview on the top­ic.

3) Help peo­ple under­stand the con­nec­tion between risk and pro­tec­tive fac­tors and cog­ni­tive health. Pro­tec­tive fac­tors are well sum­ma­rized in this blog post on the results from the Macarthur study of suc­cess­ful aging.

4) Assess­ing the lit­er­a­ture on risk fac­tors (vas­cu­lar risk and phys­i­cal inac­tiv­i­ty) and relat­ed inter­ven­tions for rela­tion­ships with cog­ni­tive health, harms, gaps and effec­tive­ness. As Dr. Mar­i­lyn S. Albert at John Hop­kins points it out: — All the things that we know are bad for your heart turn out to be bad for your brain.

5) More clin­i­cal tri­als will be con­duct­ed to deter­mine the effect of reduc­ing vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors on low­er­ing the risk of cog­ni­tive decline and improv­ing cog­ni­tive func­tion. Recent find­ings pre­sent­ed at Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence on Pre­ven­tion of Demen­tia are one big step in the right direc­tion.

6) Fur­ther, more research will be con­duct­ed on oth­er areas poten­tial­ly affect­ing cog­ni­tive health such as nutri­tion, men­tal activ­i­ty, and social engage­ment.

7) The last research focus is on deter­min­ing the effect of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty on reduc­ing the risk of cog­ni­tive decline
and improv­ing cog­ni­tive func­tion. Car­o­line at Sharp­Brains wrote this inter­est­ing post: Is phys­i­cal fit­ness impor­tant to your brain fit­ness?

8) The gov­ern­ment will devel­op a pop­u­la­tion-based sur­veil­lance sys­tem to mea­sure the pub­lic health bur­den of cog­ni­tive impair­ment in the Unit­ed States.

9) Ini­ti­ate pol­i­cy changes at the fed­er­al, state, and local lev­els to pro­mote cog­ni­tive health by engag­ing pub­lic offi­cials.

10) Brain Fit­ness will be includ­ed in Healthy Peo­ple 2020, a set of health objec­tives for the nation that will serve as the foun­da­tion for state and com­mu­ni­ty pub­lic health plans. Check Here for the 2010 report.

If you want to learn more about cog­ni­tive health, you will enjoy these resources:

- Glos­sary: key sci­en­tif­ic con­cepts on Cog­ni­tion and Brain Fit­ness.

- Neu­ro­science Inter­view Series: Dur­ing the last 18 months our co-founder Alvaro Fer­nan­dez has had the for­tune to inter­view over 15 cut­ting-edge neu­ro­sci­en­tists and cog­ni­tive psy­chol­o­gists on their research and thoughts.

- Direc­to­ry of Web Sites: some excel­lent resources aimed at peo­ple of all ages.

- Encephalon Blog Car­ni­val: a selec­tion of the best neu­ro­science and psy­chol­o­gy blog posts, every oth­er week.

- Brain Fit­ness Newslet­ter: our twice-a-month newslet­ter, writ­ten by Sharp­Brains staff and over a dozen guest neu­ro­sci­en­tists, health pro­fes­sion­als and educators, pro­vides an informed, engag­ing and com­pre­hen­sive win­dow into Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness and Brain Health news.

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  1. Balder O says:

    Inter­est­ing infor­ma­tion, though I think action 8 should be more pri­or­i­tized in this report.

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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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