Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Cognitive Training Clinical Trial: Seeking Older Adults

fmri.jpgNeuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (see our previous interview with Yaakov Stern on the Cognitive Reserve) have asked for help in recruiting volunteers for an exciting clinical trial. If you are based in New York City, and between the ages of 60 and 75, please consider joining this study.

More information below:

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Use it or Lose it?

Train your Brain! Healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 75 living in NYC are invited to join a study of mental fitness training. Qualified individuals will play a scientifically-based video game in our laboratory, and will be tested to determine the effects on attention, memory, and cognitive performance.

You will earn up to $600 plus transportation costs if you complete the 3-month program.

This exciting study is being performed by the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Sergievsky Center at Columbia University Medical Center.

If interested, contact us today: Read the rest of this entry »

Jack and Elaine LaLanne and Brain Health

Very fun interview with Jack and Elaine LaLanne by Dave Bunnell: read it at Meet Fitness Legends Jack and Elaine LaLanne | ELDR.com. See some quotes:

  • In 1936, Jack opened America’s first health club in Oakland, California, called the “Jack LaLanne Physical Culture Studio.”
  • Through television shows, public appearances, and books—and by selling health-related products—they have been the most vocal and effective evangelists for preventive health the world has ever known.
  • “Elaine works out,” Jack replies, “but I work out eight days a week. I spend an hour and a half in the gym, and then a half hour in the pool, and I change my routine every 30 days completely.”
  • “You’ve got to go at it hard and work on different muscles,” he continues. “You know how you stay young, don’t you? You work your butt off. Anything you do in life that’s worthwhile, there’s a price to pay.”

Jack recently celebrated his 92nd birthday!

We all have to be very thankful for their life mission: a recent article from the Society for Neuroscience quotes:

“Everybody knows that exercise is good for your heart, but in recent years we’ve gathered compelling evidence that exercise is also good for your brain,” says Fred Gage, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. “We now know that exercise helps generate new brain cells, even in the aging brain.”

You can check other tips in Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness survey

Today we would like to ask for your opinions on the emerging Brain Fitness field, your interests and needs. We would really appreciate if you can devote 5-minutes to complete this online survey.

Thanks! please let us know what you think!

PS: as a small token of appreciation, we will give you a discount of 10% on all products offered in our website, valid for a month after you complete the survey…sorry, no Starbucks cards…

Lifelong Learning and Brain Health Event in San Francisco on May 16

If you are in the Bay Area, we hope to see you at this event! Feel free to forward the invitation below to anyone you know who may be interested.


The growing movement for improving brain health has brought many interested professionals and interested community members to the table. Sharing our information, activities, and planned events to promote brain health increases the power of our reach.

Please join us on May 16, 2007 from noon to 1:30pm for a complimentary gathering co-sponsored by:

Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, well-known neuroscientist and author of The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger as Your Brain Grows Older and Alvaro Fernandez, CEO and Co-Founder of SharpBrains and instructor of the Exercising Our Brains class, will provide an overview of the science and trends behind the emerging brain fitness field.

Please bring information on your work and events to share with others interested in brain health.

Where: SFSU OLLI (835 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, Room 675)
When: Wednesday, May 16, 12-1:30 pm
What: A chance for networking with Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Health and The way we age now

The New Yorker April 30th issue includes a superb article on The Way We Age Now: Can medicine serve an aging population?. Atul Gawande provides a great (and a bit depressing) survey on the geriatrics field: more and more need for practitioners, with less and less supply.

now, a couple of quotes and data points that are very relevant to our efforts around healthy brain aging.

  • “for most of our hundred-thousand-year existence—all but the past couple of hundred years—the average life span of human beings has been thirty years or less. (Research suggests that subjects of the Roman Empire had an average life expectancy of twenty-eight years.)”
  • “Inheritance has surprisingly little influence on longevity. James Vaupel, of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, in Rostock, Germany, notes that only six per cent of how long you’ll live, compared with the average, is explained by your parents’ longevity; by contrast, up to ninety per cent of how tall you are, compared with the average, is explained by your parents’ height. Even genetically identical twins vary widely in life span: the typical gap is more than fifteen years.”

Fascinating. First, let’s appreciate our incredible life expectancy today; we are literally pushing the envelop of how to maintain healthy brains and bodies. By historical standards, many of us are living on “borrowed” time. Second, there you have some evidence for the importance of our experience and our lifestyle on how long we live. In terms of healthy aging, on average, nurture seems to be at least as important as nature, and the one more in our control to take action today.

You can learn more on the Successful Aging of the Healthy Brain: a beautiful essay by Marian Diamond on how to keep our brains and minds active and fit throughout our lives.

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