A new study out of Colorado State University has found that physical stress in one’s job may be associated with faster brain aging and poorer memory.
Aga Burzynska, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and her research team connected occupational survey responses with brain-imaging data from 99 cognitively normal older adults, age 60 to 79. They found that those who reported high levels of physical stress in their most recent job had smaller volumes in the hippocampus and performed poorer on memory tasks. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is critical for memory and is affected in both normal aging and in dementia.
[Editor’s note: Continued from yesterday’s Exploring the human brain and how it responds to stress (1/3)]
Stress was put on the map, so to speak, by a Hungarian — born Canadian endocrinologist named Hans Hugo Bruno Selye (ZEL — yeh) in 1950, when he presented his research on rats at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. To explain the impact of stress, Selye proposed something he called the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), which he said had three components. According to Selye, when an organism experiences some novel or threatening stimulus it responds with [Read more…] about On World Health Day 2020, let’s discuss the stress response and the General Adaptation Syndrome (2/3)
About 13 years ago, I watched my very vital mother die a slow death from Lewy-Body dementia. For me, it was a wakeup call. If there were anything I could do to stay healthy myself—to avoid the slow decline of an aging brain—I wanted to do it. But what really helps us stay sharp longer? And how can we separate fad ideas from solid, evidence-based advice around aging? [Read more…] about Neuroscience tips about gratitude, aging, pain and the brain: An interview with Dr. Daniel Levitin
Ready for a Happy New Year and Happy New Decade?
Here’s a special edition of the SharpBrains monthly e‑newsletter featuring the latest on brain health and mental well-being — we hope you enjoy these tips and advice about what to do, and what not to, to promote brain wellness in 2020 and beyond:
Practice Breathing & Compassion: Three evidence-based ways to develop a resilient mind
… and a Sport you love: Play sports (smartly) for a quieter brain
Challenge your friends, often: For better memory and thinking skills at age 70, play cards and board games from age 11
… for example by solving big problems together: Mindstrong Health recruits slew of Silicon Valley talent
When in trouble, consider therapy before meds: To treat depression, therapy alone works better than therapy combined with antidepressants
… your might even be able to access it privately, online: First Digital Health Formulary by Express Scripts includes CBT-based programs to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia
Finally, beware “brain-boosting” supplements, and don’t jump on direct-to-consumer transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) unless you understand Pros and Cons
Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and New Decade,
The SharpBrains Team
“…startups increasingly recognize opportunities to cater to this aging population. Some are developing products to sell to individuals and their family members directly; others are coming up with ways to empower those who work directly with older Americans.
BrainCheck, a 20-person, Houston-based startup whose cognitive healthcare product aims to help physicians assess and track the mental health of their patients, is among the latter. Investors like what it has put together, too. Today, the startup is announcing $8 million in Series A funding co-led by S3 Ventures and Tensility Venture Partners. [Read more…] about BrainCheck raises $8 million to digitize cognitive/ neuropsychological assessments and better serve the aging population
“For the last few months, 13-year-old Claire Wang of Los Angeles has been training her memory with playing cards, phone numbers, software — “whatever I can get my hands on,” she says.
She’s been buffing up her skills to compete in an annual sporting tournament where the athletes are not physical but mental. [Read more…] about Mental athletes gathering in Boston for the USA Memory Championship