Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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6. Ready for the Future?

High­lights from Sec­tion 6: Ready for the Future?

The goal of this resource is to help you nav­i­gate the emerg­ing, dynam­ic, field of brain fit­ness. We hope we have achieved our goal! We also real­ize that we have raised many ques­tions because of the emerg­ing nature of this field. In par­tic­u­lar, we can­not pre­scribe spe­cif­ic brain train­ing pro­grams: we can just offer the most rel­e­vant and updat­ed infor­ma­tion, and leave it up to you, the informed con­sumer or pro­fes­sion­al, to exer­cise your brain and make appro­pri­ate deci­sions

In this final chap­ter our aim is to describe the trends we think are impor­tant in order to help you be ready for the future. Con­sumers will be more and more aware that brain health is crit­i­cal for healthy and suc­cess­ful aging. Informed and proac­tive adults will look for solu­tions to inte­grate brain fit­ness to their every­day activ­i­ties. Pro­fes­sion­als will iden­ti­fy oppor­tu­ni­ties to offer new ser­vices and pro­grams. We hope this chap­ter will give you ideas as to how to intro­duce brain fit­ness in your per­son­al life and/or your work­place.

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Brain fitness goes mainstream: integration of physical and mental exercise,  government initiatives

The empha­sis on brain main­te­nance will increase in loca­tions rang­ing from retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties to gyms. As a com­put­er-savvy adults pop­u­la­tion looks for ways to stay men­tal­ly fit, brain fit­ness, or brain train­ing, is becom­ing part of their vocab­u­lary and con­cern.  Keep read­ing.

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Expect more and better tools to assess and improve cognitive functions

Bet­ter and more wide­ly avail­able assess­ments of cog­ni­tive func­tion will serve as objec­tive base­lines to mea­sure the impact of cog­ni­tive train­ing inter­ven­tions. There will also like­ly be bet­ter diag­nos­tic tests to iden­ti­fy ear­ly symp­toms of demen­tia.  Reli­able diag­nos­tic assess­ments of cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties will help move this field for­ward just as jump­ing on a scale is help­ful in telling you if your phys­i­cal fit­ness and diet pro­gram is work­ing. Keep read­ing.

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Growing ecosystem to help assess needs and navigate options

Psy­chol­o­gists and physi­cians will have to help patients nav­i­gate through the over­whelm­ing range of avail­able prod­ucts and inter­pret the results of cog­ni­tive assess­ments. Keep read­ing.

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Summary: neuroplasticity-based  opportunities and challenges for consumers and professionals

The main mes­sage behind the dis­cov­ery of brain plas­tic­i­ty is that the way we live our life can affect how well our brain age. This is great news. How­ev­er there is no just one gen­er­al solu­tion to brain main­te­nance. Sci­ence sug­gests so far to take a mul­ti-pronged approach cen­tered around bal­anced nutri­tion, stress man­age­ment, and both phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise. 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.