Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


5. Brain Fitness through Life

High­lights from Sec­tion 5: A Grow­ing Range of Appli­ca­tions

Brain train­ing has more cur­rent and future appli­ca­tions than meet the eye. The same way there are many rea­sons to exer­cise our bod­ies (run in a marathon, stay in shape, lose weight, become an Olympian, have strong abdom­i­nal mus­cles, etc.), there are many rea­sons to exer­cise our brains. In this chap­ter, we review a few cur­rent and future appli­ca­tions of brain train­ing, such as the use of brain train­ing in retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties, at school or in the clin­i­cal world.


Longer lives mean healthy aging is critical

If you were born between 1946 and 1964 you are prob­a­bly going to work and live longer than any pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. It is also very like­ly that you have had some expe­ri­ence with Alzheimer’s Dis­ease or oth­er types of demen­tia either through a loved one, a client or a patient. Keep read­ing.


Brain fitness centers in senior centers and retirement communities

In-house “brain fit­ness cen­ters” are becom­ing more com­mon in retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties, nurs­ing homes, and con­tin­u­ing care retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties (CCRCs) around the coun­try. Keep read­ing.


Cognitive assessments: the importance of cognitive baseline tests

Many stud­ies have shown that when the right group of peo­ple uses the right tool, sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits can occur. The ques­tion then becomes, “What assess­ments may help pin­point who may ben­e­fit from what type of train­ing, and set up objec­tive, inde­pen­dent base­lines for cog­ni­tive per­for­mance over time?”. Keep read­ing.


Teenagers and adults: mental abilities for safe driving

As dri­vers get old­er a num­ber of cog­ni­tive prob­lems can get in the way of safe dri­ving. An increas­ing num­ber of traf­fic schools in Europe and Cana­da, as well as US com­pa­nies that employ large num­bers of dri­vers, are adding a new tool to their assess­ment and train­ing toolk­it. Keep read­ing.

Doctor and Paitent

Clinical applications:  strokes, traumatic brain injuries, attention deficit disorders

Increas­ing­ly, there are a vari­ety of clin­i­cal con­di­tions for which non-inva­sive, com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams can play a role both as first line inter­ven­tions and post diag­no­sis to com­ple­ment exist­ing treat­ments. In con­di­tions such as stroke, trau­mat­ic brain injury, and atten­tion deficits dis­or­ders some pro­grams are get­ting trac­tion and build­ing prac­ti­tion­er net­works. Keep read­ing.


Educational applications: cognitive training and academic performance

One of the first com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams ever com­mer­cial­ized was cre­at­ed for the K12 edu­ca­tion seg­ment. The prod­uct, called Fast For­word, was launched by Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (SCIL) in 1997. It focused on help­ing stu­dents with dyslex­ia and was dis­trib­uted through clin­i­cal chan­nels. Keep read­ing.


Insurance companies to promote brain wellness

Giv­en the expect­ed growth of Alzheimer’s dis­ease across the aging US pop­u­la­tion and the cost of patient care, insur­ance com­pa­nies have a strong inter­est in reduc­ing the rate of cog­ni­tive decline, delay­ing the onset of Mild Cog­ni­tive Decline and Alzheimer’s symp­toms and slow­ing the pro­gres­sion of the dis­ease once it appears. Keep read­ing.

Keep learn­ing by read­ing more arti­cles in the Resources sec­tion, and also please con­sid­er join­ing our free month­ly Brain Fit­ness eNewslet­ter

This new online resource is based on the con­tent from the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (May 2009, $19.95), by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez and Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.