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.

Relat­ed blog posts

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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