Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


A Quick Test to Detect Athletes’ Concussions

Some sports such as foot­ball are par­tic­u­larly vio­lent and many play­ers suf­fer con­cus­sions. Con­cus­sions can cause a vari­ety of phys­i­cal, cog­ni­tive, and emo­tional symp­toms. Although symp­toms usu­ally go away with­in a few weeks with­out treat­ment, they may per­sist, or com­pli­ca­tions (such as demen­tia) may occur. Recent evi­dence shows that even hits to the head that do not lead to a con­cus­sion can impair visu­al mem­o­ry. Detect­ing con­cus­sions is thus becom­ing crit­i­cal in high-con­tact sports.

A new test that can be per­formed at the side­line of sport­ing events seems to accu­rate­ly detect con­cus­sions by look­ing at dif­fer­ent types of eye move­ments that are usu­al­ly abnor­mal after a con­cus­sion:

The test, called the King-Devick test, cap­tures impair­ments of eye move­ment, atten­tion, lan­guage and oth­er symp­toms of impaired brain func­tion.

Tests of rapid num­ber nam­ing such as the King-Devick test are objec­tive and Read the rest of this entry »

Football: Even “minor” hits can cause brain damage

Today the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Neu­rol­o­gy (AAN) “is call­ing for any ath­lete who is sus­pect­ed of hav­ing a con­cus­sion to be removed from play until the ath­lete is eval­u­at­ed by a physi­cian with train­ing in the eval­u­a­tion and man­age­ment of sports con­cus­sion.”

At the same time, an arti­cle in Sports Illus­trat­ed reports a new study in which Pur­due researchers put sen­sors (accelerom­e­ters) in the hel­mets of 23 seniors from Jef­fer­son High in Lafayette, Ind. Results are sur­pris­ing and con­cern­ing: Hits that do not even lead to con­cus­sions can have a much big­ger impact on the brain than we thought. Read the rest of this entry »

Stress Management as Key Factor For Cognitive Fitness, and More News

Brain Health NewsA roundup of sev­er­al excel­lent arti­cles this week:

Keep­ing Your Brain Fit (US News and World Report)

- “In a study of more than 2,800 peo­ple ages 65 or old­er, Har­vard researchers found that those with at least five social ties—church groups, social groups, reg­u­lar vis­its, or phone calls with fam­i­ly and friends—were less like­ly to suf­fer cog­ni­tive decline than those with no social ties.”

- “The work­ing hypoth­e­sis is that it has some­thing to do with stress man­age­ment,” says Mar­i­lyn Albert, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist at Johns Hop­kins and codi­rec­tor of the Alzheimer’s research cen­ter there. In ani­mal stud­ies, a pro­longed ele­va­tion in stress hor­mones dam­ages the hip­pocam­pus. Social engage­ment appears to boost peo­ple’s sense of con­trol, which affects their stress lev­el. Cre­ative arts seem to be a high­ly promis­ing way to increase social engage­ment. George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty’s Cohen has found that elder­ly peo­ple who joined choirs also stepped up their oth­er activ­i­ties dur­ing a 12-month peri­od, while a non­sing­ing con­trol group dropped out of some activ­i­ties. The singers also report­ed few­er health prob­lems, while the con­trol group report­ed an increase.”

We Nev­er For­get Any­thing (Any­more) (Pre­ven­tion Mag­a­zine)

- “Pro­cess­ing new infor­ma­tion when we’re anx­ious is tough; the stress itself is a dis­trac­tion. Fer­nan­dez taught Lau­rie this relax­ation trick: Read the rest of this entry »

Reminder: sweepstakes with FREE brain training give-aways

This pro­mo­tion ends April 16th-so make sure you enter if you want to have the chance to win some nice mind and brain exer­cise for free.


Some weeks we were con­tact­ed by Sony Pic­tures to pro­vide the Grand Prize for one of their Sweep­stakes pro­grams, for just-released San­dra Bul­lock­’s Pre­mo­ni­tion movie.

We were hap­py to put togeth­er a com­plete Brain Fit­ness Kit, some­thing like a boot camp for the brain (a “brain camp”?), which you can get FOR FREE. The kit is com­posed of:

- One (1) Com­plete Men­tal Work­out Soft­ware pro­gram (Mind­Fit) that helps train mem­o­ry and oth­er skills (ARV: $149.00)
— One (1) Stress Man­age­ment Biofeed­back pro­gram (Freeze-Framer) (ARV: $320.00)
— One (1) Exer­cise Your Brain DVD (ARV: $20.00)
— One (1) Brain Fit­ness 101 eBook ($12.00)

- Five (5) pri­vate phone-based ses­sions with our Brain Coach (you will hear more about this soon) (ARV: $350.00)
If you want the chance to win this Prize, togeth­er with a $1,000 check, you can sim­ply vis­it Pre­mo­ni­tion Expect the Unex­pect­ed Sweep­stakes pro­gram and fill in your details. There is no cost asso­ci­at­ed with this pro­mo­tion. This is why you are see­ing ban­ners in this site for the first time.

Good luck!

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