New research suggests that people who develop high ‘cognitive reserve’ by the time they reach 69 years old may reduce their likelihood of memory and thinking decline, even with low childhood cognitive abilities. The study was published today in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [Read more…] about Study: Building cognitive reserve helps delay memory and thinking decline regardless of genetic or childhood markers
As psychologist Chris Willard often says, our phones can be our greatest enemy or greatest friend. While they can save us time and energy, educate and entertain us, and keep us safe in emergencies, they can also distract us from the things we need in life to stay happy and healthy. [Read more…] about 3 ways to manage smartphone use and improve quality of life
AARP just released a very interesting brain health research study based on 1,200 online interviews conducted in August 2014. Key findings include:
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to all consumers (99% find it at least somewhat important). Brain health is the second most important component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, after heart health (37% find brain health most important while 51% find heart health most important). Younger consumers [Read more…] about Brain health research study by AARP: Consumers pursue brain training to support a more enjoyable, self-managed life
Here you have the November edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, simply by submitting your email at the top of this page.
Thank you for your interest, attention and participation in our SharpBrains community. As always, we appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Summit of the Global Agenda
How can we persuade business leaders, policy-makers and researchers of the urgency to develop and promote an integrated “Healthy Living” agenda focused on maintaining lifelong physical and cognitive health, vs. the usual mindset focused on dealing with specific diseases and problems once they arise?
In The Future of the Aging Society: Burden or Human Capital?, I summarize some of the key themes discussed at the World Economic Forum event in Dubai on November 7–9th. The world is aging — and in healthier ways. But our healthcare and retirement systems are on track to go bankrupt — their premises are outdated. The current disease-based research agenda compounds the problem. Solutions? 1) Promote Healthy Lifestyles that help Maintain Physical and Cognitive Functional Abilities, 2) Redesign Environments to Foster Health, Engagement and Financial Security, 3) Develop an Integrated Healthy Living & Aging Research Agenda. Specifically, we could work with the UN and Global 2000 companies to move forward a new agenda.
Planet Earth 2.0: A New Operating System: Imagine seeing a top sheik in Dubai, wrapped in traditional Arab clothing, exclaim “Yes We Can (a la Obama) in front of the 800 global experts, adding that “we build the future with our own hands. Some of the attendants of the World Economic Forum’s Summit of the Global Agenda urged us to “reboot” the system. More than a “reboot”, we may have to upgrade to a new global “Yes We Can” operating system.
Brain Fitness Research
Neuroplasticity and the Brain That Changes Itself: Laurie Bartels reviews the excellent book by Norman Doidge, explaining that “the neuroscience behind Doidge’s book involves neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rewire itself. This means that the brain is our intelligence, is not something fixed in concrete but rather a changing, learning entity.”
Can We Pick Your Brain re: Cognitive Assessments?: In our view, a critical component in the maturity of the brain fitness market will be the availability of inexpensive, valid and reliable objective cognitive assessments, to help measure how our brain functions change over time and identify priorities for targeted improvements. Dr. Joshua Steinerman asks if you would be up for them?
Use It (Properly) or Lose It
Physical and mental exercise to prevent cognitive decline: The American Medical News, a weekly newspaper for physicians published by the American Medical Association, just published an excellent article on the importance of physical and mental exercise. We are very happy to see efforts like these to train physicians and health professionals in general, given that most of them were trained under a very different understanding of the brain than the one we have today.
Brain Fitness 2: Sight & Sound: PBS recently announced the second installment of their popular Brain Fitness Program show, to start airing soon.
MetaCarnival #1: a conversation across the blogosphere: We often insist on “Novelty, Variety and Challenge” as key ingredients for good “brain exercise”. There are many ways to mix those ingredients — you may enjoy this one, the first interdisciplinary gathering of blogs and blog carnivals covering health, science, anthropology, general advice and more.
Top 15 Brain Teasers and Games for Mental Exercise: Over the last 2 years we have published close to 100 puzzles, teasers, riddles, and every kind of mental exercise (without counting our in-depth interviews with top neuroscientists). Which ones have proven most stimulating for you. Let us know. Here is a selection of our Top 15 teasers.
Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues if you haven’t done so already.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
We all have heard “Use It or Lose It”. Now, what is “It”? how does “it” work? why is “it” our best (and too often unrecognized) friend?
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has just released a user-friendly publication titled Neuroscience Core Concepts, aimed at helping educators and the general public learn more about the brain.
Description: “Neuroscience Core Concepts offer fundamental principles that one should know about the brain and nervous system, the most complex living structure known in the universe. They are a practical resource about:
- - How your brain works and how it is formed.
- - How it guides you through the changes in life.
- - Why it is important to increase understanding of the brain.”
You will enjoy reading the web page explaining in detail 8 Neuroscience Core Concepts:
1| The brain is the body’s most complex organ.
2| Neurons communicate using both electrical and chemical signals. [Read more…] about Neuroscience Core Concepts: What is “It” in Use It or Lose It?