Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Alzheimer’s Disease: Treatment Directions

Last year, Jef­frey Gonce, a Psy­chol­o­gy teacher at Red Land High School (West Shore School Dis­trict, PA) asked his stu­dents to “com­plete a project describ­ing a recent brain (or genet­ic) study that affects behav­ior.” The stu­dents could opt to post their arti­cles online, and Jef­frey was kind enough to send us a link to read the results. We enjoyed read­ing them all, and pub­lished in our blog this beau­ti­ful essay, titled “Tis bet­ter to give than receive”, writ­ten by Alexan­dra, which  was sub­se­quent­ly includ­ed in a num­ber of neu­ro­science an psy­chol­o­gy blogs. Ear­li­er this year we high­light­ed this piece on Musi­cal train­ing as men­tal exer­cise for cog­ni­tive per­for­mance, writ­ten by Megan.

This quar­ter, Jef­frey also sent us his stu­dents’ essays, and we are going to rec­og­nize and pub­lish this great essay by high school stu­dent Kristin H.

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Alzheimer’s Dis­ease

– By Kristin H.

Alzheimer’s is a dis­ease which caus­es peo­ple, gen­er­al­ly of an old­er age, to lose mem­o­ry and for­get how to accom­plish sim­ple tasks. Demen­tia is the dis­ease which Alzheimer’s is a part and about four mil­lion Amer­i­cans were diag­nosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999, a num­ber which is expect­ed to grow (Alt­man 8–9). Demen­tia is an unspe­cif­ic brain dis­ease com­mon­ly asso­ci­at­ed with mem­o­ry loss and anoth­er seri­ous brain dys­func­tion. Demen­tia is an incur­able dis­ease (“Demen­tia”). A new drug treat­ment that replaces the enzyme miss­ing in an Alzheimer’s brain may be able to cure Alzheimer’s dis­ease in it’s late stages (Cogh­lan).

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Smart Brains, Sharp Brain… new research on maintaining one

There has been a lot of recent buzz about brain fit­ness. A New York Times edi­to­r­i­al print­ed today states:

When test­ed five years lat­er, these par­tic­i­pants [in a cog­ni­tive train­ing study] had less of a decline in the skill they were trained in than did a con­trol group that received no cog­ni­tive train­ing. The pay­off from men­tal exer­cise seemed far greater than we are accus­tomed to get­ting for phys­i­cal exer­cise — as if 10 work­outs at the gym were enough to keep you fit five years lat­er.

and

If fur­ther stud­ies show that men­tal exer­cis­es can improve every­day func­tion­ing, doc­tors may need to pre­scribe such train­ing, senior cen­ters may want to set up “brain gyms,” and aging Amer­i­cans would be wise to do brain-stretch­ing activ­i­ties. For this pur­pose, even the Medicare pre­scrip­tion drug pro­gram, which crit­ics deem too con­fus­ing for many old­er peo­ple to nav­i­gate, could prove an unex­pect­ed bless­ing. Spend 10 hours mas­ter­ing its intri­ca­cies today and you could be a lot sharp­er than your com­pa­tri­ots five years from now.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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