Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Let’s Define Brain Fitness and Physical Fitness

Bev­er­ly San­born, Vice Pres­i­dent of Pro­gram Devel­op­ment at Bel­mont Senior Liv­ing and sched­uled 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit Speak­er, could not final­ly speak at the Sum­mit (she was very well replaced by col­league Jeff DeBevec), but for­tu­nate­ly we can share her thought­ful answers to the fol­low­ing four crit­i­cal ques­tions.

1. How would you define “brain fit­ness” vs. “phys­i­cal fit­ness”?

Brain fit­ness and phys­i­cal fit­ness are inter­linked. Each enhances the oth­er and both are essen­tial com­po­nents of suc­cess­ful aging. As we age, the abil­i­ty to cope with inex­orable chal­lenge to social-emo­tion­al-eco­nom­ic well-being is root­ed in hav­ing a high lev­el of men­tal alert­ness and a phys­i­cal body that func­tions effi­cient­ly. But fit­ness is not just a hap­py con­se­quence of a hardy gene pool. Fit­ness for both brain and brawn requires a com­mit­ted effort, a lot of stretch and sweat, and the con­stant push to reach beyond the com­fort zone.

2. Where do you see a sig­nif­i­cant oppor­tu­ni­ty for brain fit­ness inno­va­tion to improve the lives of a large num­ber of peo­ple in the next decade?

As research defines with greater speci­fici­ty the most effec­tive pro­to­col for main­tain­ing brain fit­ness (and thus delay­ing the onset of demen­tia), the most sig­nif­i­cant oppor­tu­ni­ty for inno­va­tion lies in how to com­mu­ni­cate this knowl­edge to the largest num­ber of peo­ple, par­tic­u­lar­ly to resource-poor, rur­al areas world­wide. Com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy and the media will be the locus of inno­va­tion.

3. What is the one big chal­lenge to the inno­va­tion?

Research mon­ey needs to eval­u­ate tech­no­log­i­cal, media, and train­ing pro­to­col in the con­text of effec­tive, low-cost, prac­ti­cal pro­grams for home use. This research should address best prac­tices that trans­late research find­ings into brain and body fit­ness pro­grams.

4. What are your main activ­i­ties in the field and where can peo­ple learn more?

Bel­mont Vil­lage pro­vides inde­pen­dent liv­ing, assist­ed liv­ing and demen­tia care in 19 set­tings through­out Cal­i­for­nia, Chica­go, and the south­ern Unit­ed States. We have devel­oped a range of pro­grams that trans­late research into brain fit­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties for res­i­dents at all lev­els of abil­i­ty: from no dis­cern­able mem­o­ry loss to late stage demen­tia. Ours is a ther­a­peu­tic, inte­grat­ed, Just Right Chal­lenge approach that encom­pass­es a mix of cog­ni­tive, cre­ative and phys­i­cal activ­i­ties offered dai­ly in struc­tured social groups. We are in the process of pilot-test­ing an eval­u­a­tion of these pro­grams, with plans to engage in a full-scale eval­u­a­tion using an exper­i­men­tal design.

Please vis­it for more infor­ma­tion. We encour­age you to vis­it often, as our site will be expand­ing dur­ing the year.

PS: The 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit (March 30th — April 1st) was an excel­lent event thanks to the sim­ply incred­i­ble ros­ter of Speak­ers, Par­tic­i­pants, Spon­sors and Part­ners involved — we will be shar­ing major impres­sions and take-aways in weeks to come.

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  1. Aicardi says:

    WOW!!She real­ly change our mind fit­ness i am agree with him she have great job done.
    Thank you for post.

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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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