Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Despite the growing evidence against supplements making brain/ memory improvement claims, sales keep growing

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Why you shouldn’t both­er with mem­o­ry or brain health sup­ple­ments (Con­sumer Reports):

The signs of mem­o­ry loss can be bewil­der­ing and scary: mis­placed keys, a for­got­ten street name, that task you sud­den­ly can’t remem­ber. It’s no won­der that, accord­ing to the Nutri­tion Busi­ness Jour­nal, sales of sup­ple­ments tout­ed as mem­o­ry boost­ers near­ly dou­bled between 2006 and 2015.

But accord­ing to a review of stud­ies pub­lished in Decem­ber, there’s vir­tu­al­ly no good evi­dence that such prod­ucts can pre­vent or delay mem­o­ry laps­es, mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment or demen­tia in old­er adults Read the rest of this entry »

Review finds mixed results on the effectiveness and safety of brain and memory supplements

Omega 3 supplementsNat­ur­al Sup­ple­ments and Vit­a­mins for Treat­ment and Pre­ven­tion of Demen­tia and Cog­ni­tive Decline (Psy­chi­atric Times):

Demen­tia, also referred to as major neu­rocog­ni­tive dis­or­der (includ­ing Alzheimer dis­ease [AD]), is a grow­ing prob­lem because of increased lifes­pan. There is no known cure. Sev­er­al drugs are Read the rest of this entry »

From Anti-Alzheimer’s “Magic Bullets” to True Brain Health

If you fol­lowed lat­est head­lines sur­round­ing the release of the Nation­al Alzheimer’s Plan, you’d prob­a­bly con­clude that the like­ly solu­tion to main­tain life­long brain health is sim­ple: sim­ply wait until 2025 for a “mag­ic bul­let” to be dis­cov­ered, to cure (or end or pre­vent) Alzheimer’s dis­ease and aging asso­ci­at­ed cog­ni­tive decline. These kinds of beliefs, often rein­forced by doc­tors and adver­tis­ing, may explain the bil­lions spent today by phar­ma com­pa­nies on dis­cov­er­ing new com­pounds, and by con­sumers on sup­ple­ments like gink­go bilo­ba. But Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Rounds: Best of Health and Medical Blogging

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Grand Rounds blog car­ni­val, the week­ly edi­tion of what’s best in the health and med­ical blo­gos­phere. This week, twen­ty four blog­gers share data, insights, ques­tions, reflec­tions and more. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

References on Cognitive Health/ Brain Fitness

This is a par­tial list of the lit­er­a­ture we reviewed dur­ing the research phase of our new book, The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness.  We know many friends of Sharp­Brains are researchers, health­care pro­fes­sion­als, graduate/ Ph.D. stu­dents, who want have direct access to the ref­er­ences (per­haps PubMed should pro­mote itself as a nev­er end­ing source of men­tal stim­u­la­tion?), so here you have this list, orga­nized by rel­e­vant chap­ter. Please note that the list below appears in the book — whose man­u­script we had to close in Jan­u­ary 2009.

Intro­duc­tion

Basak, C. et al. (2008). Can train­ing in a real-time strat­e­gy video game atten­u­ate cog­ni­tive decline in old­er adults? Psy­chol­o­gy and Aging.
Beg­ley, S. (2007). Train your mind, change your brain: How a new sci­ence reveals our extra­or­di­nary poten­tial to trans­form our­selves. Bal­lan­tine Books.
DeKosky, S. T., et al. (2008). Gink­go bilo­ba for pre­ven­tion of demen­tia: a ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al. Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, 300, 2253–2262.
Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain that changes itself: Sto­ries of per­son­al tri­umph from the fron­tiers of brain sci­ence. Viking Adult.

Chap­ter 1. The Brain and Brain Fit­ness 101

Bunge, S. A., & Wright, S. B. (2007). Neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal changes in work­ing mem­o­ry and cog­ni­tive con­trol. Cur­rent Opin­ion In Neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy, 17(2), 243–50.
Dama­sio, A. (1995). Descartes error: Emo­tion, rea­son, and the human brain. Pen­guin Press.
David Kolb, D. (1983). Expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing: Expe­ri­ence as the source of learn­ing and devel­op­ment. FT Press.
Dra­gan­s­ki, B., Gas­er, C., Kem­per­mann, G., Kuhn, H. G., Win­kler, J., Buchel, C., & May A. (2006). Tem­po­ral and spa­tial dynam­ics of brain struc­ture changes dur­ing exten­sive learn­ing. The Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science, 261231, 6314–6317.
Gage, F. H., Kem­per­mann, G., & Song, H. (2007). Adult Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis. Cold Spring Har­bor Lab­o­ra­to­ry Press, NY.
Gard­ner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The the­o­ry of mul­ti­ple intel­li­gences. New York: Basic Books.
Gas­er, C. & Schlaug, G. (2003). Brain struc­tures dif­fer between musi­cians and non-musi­cians. The Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science, 23, 9240–9245. Read the rest of this entry »

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