We are honored to announce the following Sponsors and Partners of the upcoming 2011 SharpBrains Summit: Retooling Brain Health for the 21st Century (March 30th — April 1st, 2011). And we are looking for more, so please contact us if interested! [Read more…] about Announcing Sponsors and Partners: 2011 SharpBrains Summit
Let’s Make World Alzheimer’s Day World Cognitive Reserve’s Day
Today is World Alzheimer’s Day. To raise awareness and funds, associations worldwide organize multiple activities including important Memory Walks, and a new report helps quantify the growing personal and economic burden of the disease.
Among the report findings:
- Close to 36 million people worldwide have dementia today
- Dementia care costs around 1 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), or 604 billion US dollars. Of these, 252 billion represent indirect costs of care, while annual direct medical costs account for 96 billion, and direct non-medical costs for 256 billion
- By 2030, worldwide societal costs will increase by over 85 percent
The good news?
- That the number 1 reason for the bad news is simple: we live longer than ever before
- That, while there is nothing we can do today to prevent Alzheimer’s pathology, there is much we can do, as individuals and as a society, to build up Cognitive Reserve and significantly delay cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s symptoms
Which is why there is so much ongoing innovation to develop tools to efficiently measure and enhance cognitive functioning and reserve and to foster active aging.
Time perhaps for a World Cognitive Reserve’s Day?
Update: Retooling Use It or Lose It at New York Public Library
Here you have the September edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, using the box at the top of this page.
In the current edition of The Journal on Active Aging, I discuss why we need to Retool “Use it or lose it”, and why routine, doing things inside our comfort zones, is the most common enemy of the novelty, variety and challenge our brains need. You can read the full article for free Here.
We are glad to report that The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness continues to obtain excellent endorsements:
“This is the only book that I know of that seamlessly integrates latest information about cognitive health across the lifespan. Very useful to anyone interested in brain care.”
–Arthur Kramer, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology at University of Illinois
“…we now have a rock solid primer on brain health that we can recommend with confidence…I found it particularly effective to start the book with a list of ten brain myths that need debunking.”
–Michael C. Patterson, former Manager NRTA/ Staying Sharp at AARP
The official book tour starts this week, and includes New York Public Library!
09/08: Club One Fitness Center, Petaluma, CA
09/09: San Francisco State University OLLI
09/11: ASA Brain Health Day, Oakland, CA
09/23: New York Public Library, Bronx Library Center
09/25: New York Public Library, Stephen Schwarzman Building
10/06, SmartSilvers MIT Northern California, Palo Alto, CA
10/14: UC-Berkeley OLLI, CA
You can find all the details here. If you haven’t read the book yet, you can order it via Amazon Here (print book) or Here (Kindle edition). Or ask your local bookstore or library.
Changing our Minds…by Reading Fiction: What about getting a novel in your hands (or writing one)? By imagining many possible worlds, argues psychologist Keith Oatley, fiction gives us the surprise which can help expand our understanding of ourselves and the social world.
SharpBrains Fan Page in Facebook: What about participating in our new Fan Page at Facebook? You can not only receive latest updates but comment on your favorite articles and teasers, and discuss your own ideas and resources.
Medication and Training
Cognitive Enhancement via Pharmacology AND Neuropsychology: our co-founder Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg integrates three apparently separate worlds ‑cognitive enhancement via drugs, brain fitness training software, computerized neurocognitive assessments‑, in a much updated new edition of his book The Executive Brain.
Comparing Cognitive Training & Medication Treatment for ADHD: a recent study shows that working memory training improves working memory more than stimulant medication treatment-and benefits persist longer. Does this matter?, Does this mean training is better than medication for kids with attention deficits? Dr. David Rabiner dissects the study searching for answers.
AAA to deploy DriveSharp: Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA Foundation, explains why the current system of driver licensing is inadequate and inconsistent, why AAA is recommending older drivers use a new cognitive training program, and why he believes insurance companies will soon start to offer brain training to their members.
SharpBrains Network for Brain Fitness Innovation: in order to help leaders of the brain fitness and cognitive health community learn, connect and collaborate, SharpBrains has created a virtual LinkedIn network for clients. The network will be formally launched with a webinar on September 29th that will discuss The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market in 2009. For organizations that want to order the report, attend the webinar, and join the network, more information is available Here.
Brain Quiz: Do You Have a Brain?: Dr. Pascale Michelon dares you to answer these 10 questions correctly to prove that you have a brain.
Why we need to Retool Use it or lose it
The July/ August 2009 issue of The Journal on Active Aging includes my article Why We Need to Retool “Use It Or Lose It”
“By now you have probably heard about brain plasticity, the lifelong capacity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. The latest scientific research shows that specific lifestyles and actions can improve the health and level of functioning of our brains, no matter our age.
Of particular importance to maintaining cognitive functioning through life are the hippocampus (deep inside the brain, part of what is called the limbic system), which plays a role in learning and memory; and the frontal lobes (behind your forehead), which are key to maintaining decision-making and autonomy. Is there a way to physically protect these parts of the aging brain? Yes. But the right answer is far from “do one more crossword puzzle” or “do more X” (whatever X is). The key is to add significantly different activities to ensure a flow of novelty, variety and challenge, combining physical and mental exercise while not ignoring factors such as stress management and balanced nutrition.
We need, in other words, to retool our understanding and practice of “Use it or lose it.” We must focus on the importance of getting out of our physical and mental routines and activities to get the benefits of real exercise—physical and mental.”
Continue reading Why We Need to Retool “Use It Or Lose It”