It is often assumed that a decrease in memory and brain function are inevitable parts of aging, but a new study of centenarians suggests otherwise.
Investigators found that despite the presence of neurological issues generally associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), many centenarians maintained high levels of cognitive performance.
(Henne Holstege, PhD, assistant professor at Amsterdam University Medical Center) said her interest in researching aging and cognitive health was inspired by the “fascinating” story of Hendrikje van Andel Schipper, who died at age 115 in 2005 “completely cognitively healthy.” Her mother, who died at age 100, was also cognitively intact at the end of her life. [Read more…] about Study with 330 centenarians finds that cognitive decline is not inevitable
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring fascinating findings, books and resources for lifelong brain health.
#1. “The human brain (section; left image above) functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe (section simulation; right image) can count upon a cosmic web of at least 100 billion galaxies. Within both systems, only 30% of their masses are composed of galaxies and neurons. Within both systems, galaxies and neurons arrange themselves in long filaments or nodes between the filaments. Finally, within both systems, 70% of the distribution of mass or energy is composed of components playing an apparently passive role: water in the brain and dark energy in the observable Universe.” Understanding Brain Health via Cosmological Health, and vice versa
#2. One very smart and generous brain to brighten your day: Indian teacher Ranjitsinh Disale wins annual $1M Global Teacher Prize; shares half with 9 finalists
#3. “Of all the qualities parents can cultivate in their children, hope and optimism are the most precious. We can nurture hope and optimism in our kids by demonstrating that we always have some control over our environment and ourselves. The future isn’t a tide that’s going to crush us, it’s a wave we’re a part of.” — Madeline Levine, author of Ready or Not. Three favorite 2020 books on parenting and mental health
#5. This survey of 2500 families about what ADHD treatments seem to work/ not work finds that 49% of parents report Exercise to be ‘Extremely or Very Effective;’ above any other treatment.
#6. On the dangers of “productizing” lifestyle guidelines that help build brain reserve and delay cognitive problems; Buyer beware: The story of a pricey and “credentialled” program to end Alzheimer’s Disease
#7. Now, given that “In a new McKinsey report, 62% of employees consider mental health issues a top challenge,” it is good to see growing resources and approaches aimed at addressing the challenge: Calm raises $75 million, expands into corporate mental health and wellness
#8. And, step by step, digital therapeutics are going mainstream: Click Therapeutics raises $30 million in debt to advance commercialization of smoking cessation app Clickotine
#9. Never two without three: Pear Therapeutics raises $80M; finds cost savings of $2,150 per patient with opioid use disorder
#10. Finally, we asked our team and trusted advisors to compile a list of ideas to stay sane and healthy in the months ahead, prioritizing habits shown to promote brain health, resilience and positive neuroplasticity: Enjoy these 3 New Year Resolutions and 36 Ideas for a Happier & Healthier 2021
Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy New Year
We need a new approach to promote Brain Health for Life: instead of trying to treat diseases, we need to educate and empower the public at large to adopt lifelong healthy lifestyles. In parallel, we need to better understand brain resilience and its mechanisms to design interventions that promote it and delay the onset of clinical manifestations of disease, and the consequent disability. [Read more…] about Reminder: Promoting Brain Health for Life, December 15–16th
We need a different, two-pronged approach to address the Brain Health for Life challenge: instead of trying to treat diseases, we need to focus on promoting brain health, educate and empower the public to adopt lifelong healthy lifestyles in order to minimize the risk of developing psychiatric and neurological diseases. In parallel, we need to gain a deeper understanding of brain resilience and its mechanisms, to be able to design interventions to promote it and delay the onset of clinical manifestations of disease and the consequent disability. [Read more…] about Save the Date: Promoting Brain Health for Life, December 15–16th, online
An aspiring clarinetist begins by getting a sense of the way the instrument’s sounds are produced by the air she blows through it. A driver must be acquainted with various vehicle fundamentals, such as adding gas, accelerating, and reading the speedometer. It is no different with the brain. Maximizing your brain’s health and performance begins with a basic understanding of how it works and how it evolves across the lifespan.
The human brain evolved to help us operate in complex, changing environments by continually learning and adapting. Successfully doing so involves [Read more…] about 4 Essential (and Overlooked) Facts About Your Brain and Your Mind
In a modern society we are confronted with a wide range of increasingly abstract and interconnected problems. Successfully dealing with such an environment requires a highly fit brain, capable of adapting to new situations and challenges throughout life. Consequently, we expect cross-training the brain to soon become as mainstream as cross-training the body is today, going beyond unstructured mental activity and [Read more…] about Can brain training work? Yes, if it meets these 5 conditions