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To Harness Neuroplasticity, Start with Enthusiasm

16. Bon voy­age!
Enjoy the jour­ney! Get excit­ed about where you’re going. Pas­sion, enthu­si­asm and excite­ment are the most pow­er­ful brain fuels of all. The word enthu­si­asm comes from the Greek entheos, mean­ing “to be divine­ly inspired or pos­sessed by a god”.

Ralph Wal­do Emer­son observed, “Noth­ing great has ever been achieved
with­out enthu­si­asm.”

Dr Hele­na Popovic MBBS is an Aus­tralia-based med­ical doc­tor, researcher, fit­ness train­er, inter­na­tion­al speak­er and author of In Search of My Father: Demen­tia is no match for a daugh­ter’s deter­mi­na­tion.

 

To learn more about neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and brain health:

 

Ref­er­ences
1. KJ Anstey, et al. Smok­ing as a risk fac­tor for demen­tia and cog­ni­tive decline: A meta analy­sis of prospec­tive stud­ies, Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Epi­demi­ol­o­gy 2007, 166(4): 367–78.

2. Lera Borodit­sky. How Lan­guage Shapes Thought: The lan­guages we speak affect our per­cep­tions of the world, Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can Feb­ru­ary 2011, 62–65.

3. Bar­bara L Fred­er­ick­son PhD. Pos­i­tiv­i­ty: Top-notch research reveals the 3‑to‑1 ratio that will change your life. Three Rivers Press 2009.

4. Y. Fre­und-Levi et al. Omega‑3 fat­ty acid treat­ment in 174 patients with mild to mod­er­ate Alzheimer dis­ease: OmegAD study: a ran­dom­ized dou­ble-blind tri­al, Archives of Neu­rol­o­gy, Octo­ber 2006, 63(10):1402–8.

5. John Med­i­na. Brain Rules: 12 Prin­ci­ples for sur­viv­ing and thriv­ing at work, home and school. Pear Press 2008.

6. John J Ratey and Eric Hage­man. Spark! How exer­cise will improve the per­for­mance of your brain. Quer­cus Pub­lish­ing Plc 2009.

7. GW Rebok et al. Train­ing and main­tain­ing mem­o­ry abil­i­ties in healthy old­er adults: Tra­di­tion­al and nov­el approach­es, Jour­nals of Geron­tol­ogy: SERIES B, 2007, 62B: 53–61.

8. M R Rosen­zweig et al. Effects of envi­ron­men­tal com­plex­i­ty and train­ing on brain chem­istry and anato­my: A repli­ca­tion and exten­sion. Jour­nal of Com­par­a­tive and Phys­i­o­log­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gy, 1962, 55: 429–37.

9. L Shobab, G Hsi­ung and H Feld­man. Cho­les­terol in Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, Lancet Neu­rol­o­gy, 2005, 4:841–52.

10. M Valen­zuela et al. Lifes­pan men­tal activ­i­ty pre­dicts dimin­ished rate of hip­pocam­pal atro­phy, PLoS One, 2008, 3(7):e2598.

11. J Vergh­ese et al. Leisure activ­i­ties and the risk of demen­tia in the elder­ly, New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine, 2003, 348:2508–16.

12. G Yue and K J Cole. Strength increas­es from the motor pro­gram: Com­par­i­son of train­ing with max­i­mal vol­un­tary and imag­ined mus­cle con­trac­tions. Jour­nal of Neu­ro­phys­i­ol­o­gy, 1992, 67(5): 1114–23.

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2 Responses

  1. So true!! This is what we prac­tice with our stu­dents every day at Eaton Arrow­smith School in Van­cou­ver, Vic­to­ria and soon to be Sur­rey, BC, Cana­da. By strength­en­ing their capac­i­ty to learn, as opposed to accom­mo­dat­ing for their learn­ing weak­ness­es, our stu­dents are build­ing stronger and tighter cog­ni­tive ships…which will lead them on a far more inde­pen­dent­ly run jour­ney through­out life!

  2. Great anal­o­gy! It real­ly ties every­thing togeth­er nice­ly. It’s inter­est­ing too, if you com­bine every­thing we are told to do to stay phys­i­cal­ly healthy with the things we are told to do to be hap­py, you basi­cal­ly get a healthy brain.

    Bot­tom line, exer­cise and be hap­py and your brain will work real­ly well even when you are old!

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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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