Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Physical and mental exercise to prevent cognitive decline

We offered some Brain Fit­ness Pre­dic­tions in our Mar­ket Report , includ­ing…

7. Doc­tors and phar­ma­cists will help patients nav­i­gate through the over­whelm­ing range of avail­able prod­ucts and inter­pret the results of cog­ni­tive assess­ments. This will require sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment efforts, giv­en that most doc­tors today were trained under a very dif­fer­ent under­stand­ing of the brain than the one we have today.”

The Amer­i­can Med­ical News, a week­ly news­pa­per for physi­cians pub­lished by the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, just pub­lished an excel­lent arti­cle along those lines:

Steps to a nim­ble mind: Phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise help keep the brain fit
— Neu­ro­science is uncov­er­ing tech­niques to pre­vent cog­ni­tive decline.

A few quotes:

- It’s an exam­ple that high­lights a wave of new think­ing about the impor­tance of brain fit­ness.

- Until recent­ly, con­ven­tion­al wis­dom held that our brains were intractable, hard-wired com­put­ers. What we were born with was all we got. Age wore down mem­o­ry and the abil­i­ty to under­stand, and few inter­ven­tions could reverse this process. But increas­ing­ly, evi­dence sug­gests that phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise can alter spe­cif­ic brain regions, mak­ing rad­i­cal improve­ments in cog­ni­tive func­tion.

- With near­ly 72 mil­lion Amer­i­cans turn­ing 65 over the next two decades, physi­cians need the tools to han­dle grow­ing patient con­cerns about how to best main­tain brain health. Armed with this new brand of sci­ence, front­line physi­cians will be bet­ter equipped to address the needs of aging baby boomers, already in the throes of the brain fit­ness rev­o­lu­tion.

- “Encour­age them to exer­cise the brain in nov­el and com­plex ways,” he says.

Full arti­cle: here

One of the physi­cians quot­ed in the arti­cle is Gary J. Kennedy, MD, Direc­tor of the Divi­sion of Geri­atric Psy­chi­a­try at Mon­te­fiore Med­ical Cen­ter in NYC and a pro­fes­sor in the Dept. of Psy­chi­a­try and Behav­ioral Sci­ences at Albert Ein­stein Col­lege of Med­i­cine.

To put the AMA arti­cle in bet­ter per­spec­tive for Sharp­Brains read­ers, we asked Dr. Kennedy a few fol­low-up ques­tions. Below you have his ques­tions.

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez (AF): Can you sum­ma­rize how cog­ni­tive func­tions tend to evolve as we age?

Gary Kennedy (GK): As we age cog­ni­tive func­tions that rely on Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention

We just received these two very thought-pro­vok­ing essays on Alzheimer’s Dis­ease and brain health, as part of a writ­ing work­shop, led by Susan Hill in Lake­land, Flori­da, with a group of grade 9–11 home­school­ers.

With­out fur­ther ado, here you are both Essays:

Essay A. Pre­vent­ing Alzheimer’s at Work

– By Josh H

5,000,000: that is the num­ber of peo­ple in the Unit­ed States alone who are affect­ed by Alzheimer’s dis­ease. Research has shown that those who held jobs such as san­i­ta­tion work­ers or trash col­lec­tors in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are more at risk for Alzheimer’s dis­ease than peo­ple who held jobs such as doc­tors or sci­en­tists at the same age. If every­one knew this, the world would ben­e­fit, and it could impact the lives of every­one.

Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

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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