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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Barcelona, 2 de Julio: Mejora tu salud usando la mente, el cuerpo y las redes sociales

BCN_ASICS2_webASICS es el prin­ci­pal impul­sor de la con­fer­en­cia que el próx­i­mo 2 de julio ten­drá lugar en Barcelona bajo el títu­lo “Mejo­ra tu salud usan­do la mente, el cuer­po y las redes sociales”. Read the rest of this entry »

June 22nd talk @ Fundacion Edad y Vida (Barcelona) on Health in the XXI century

aa-225x300Last Novem­ber, talk­ing with some Japan­ese col­leagues at the World Eco­nom­ic Forum’s Coun­cil on the Aging Soci­ety, I dis­cov­ered that it is com­mon there to orga­nize research-dri­ven consortia/ learn­ing labs among for-prof­it, non-prof­it and aca­d­e­m­ic orga­ni­za­tions inter­est­ed in the devel­op­ment of “sil­ver indus­tries”, this is, where com­pa­nies devel­op prod­uct and ser­vices spe­cif­ic to the needs of old­er adults.

I just dis­cov­ered ‑hav­ing been invit­ed to speak there, togeth­er with Prof. Shlo­mo Breznitz- that my native Spain counts with a sim­i­lar inno­v­a­tive plat­form. You can see below (in Span­ish) the details of my tak in Barcelona on June 22nd, and here you have how the Fun­da­cion Edad y Vida describes itself:

  • The Edad&Vida Foun­da­tion is a plat­form where all the dif­fer­ent agents involved in con­tribut­ing to the qual­i­ty of life of elder­ly peo­ple con­verge. Edad&Vida is an open space to com­pa­nies from dif­fer­ent eco­nom­ic sec­tors, social agents and aca­d­e­m­ic enti­ties.
  • Edad&Vida is the result of the effort of more than 40 lead­ing com­pa­nies that belong to dif­fer­ent eco­nom­ic sec­tors. We can find Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Work as a Brain Fitness Program

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

There is one type of “brain fit­ness pro­gram” which is not only free but also pays you back. You guessed it, that pro­gram is your “job”. Our occu­pa­tions can pro­vide ben­e­fi­cial men­tal exer­cise if they incor­po­rate the key ingre­di­ents of nov­el­ty, vari­ety, and chal­lenge, and are not a source of chron­ic stress.

We start today’s newslet­ter with two arti­cles relat­ed to the brain val­ue of hav­ing men­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing jobs.

Your Brain At Work

Your Brain At Work Brochure: Aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance, real­ly? Indi­vid­u­als and Human Resources depart­ments can access excel­lent cog­ni­tive fit­ness tips, an action plan, and a great brochure pro­vid­ed by the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives and the Con­fer­ence Board for our read­ers.

ABC Reporter Bob Woodruf­f’s Recov­ery from Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury: For­mer US pres­i­den­tial con­tender and Sen­a­tor John Edwards recent­ly grant­ed an inter­view to reporter Bob Woodruff. The most remark­able aspect of the inter­view? Bob Woodruf­f’s spec­tac­u­lar recov­ery from the trau­mat­ic brain injury he suf­fered in Iraq 2 years ago. You can’t miss this inter­view with his wife Lee, where we dis­cuss Bob’s recov­ery process (includ­ing mak­ing a doc­u­men­tary, co-writ­ing a book and oth­er projects at ABC), the Bob Woodruff Foun­da­tion, and the over­all chal­lenge of cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion fol­low­ing trau­mat­ic brain injuries.

Research

San­ti­a­go Ramon y Cajal’s “Rec­ol­lec­tions of My Life”: Remark­able and can­did views on neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, learn­ing, aging and life, straight from the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of one of the founders of mod­ern neu­ro­science, who once said “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculp­tor of his own brain.”

Can food improve brain health?: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon pro­vides an overview of the effects of food on the brain, build­ing on Fer­nan­do Gomez-Pinil­la’s recent study in Nature Reviews Neu­ro­science. Can­di­dates for “brainy” foods con­tain: Omega‑3 fat­ty acid, folic acid, flavonoids, anti-oxi­dant foods. Please note her warn­ing, though: most of the stud­ies show­ing pos­i­tive effects have been con­duct­ed in mice.

The biol­o­gy of aging: A month­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of blog­gers to dis­cuss Biol­o­gy of Aging top­ics includ­ing research, pol­i­cy, lifestyle guid­ance, and open ques­tions. We are aware that “aging” may not be the sex­i­est  of words in our vocab­u­lary… unless you con­sid­er the most com­mon alter­na­tive.

Tech­nol­o­gy

Brain Fit­ness Cen­ters in Senior Hous­ing — A Field in the Mak­ing: The Amer­i­can Seniors Hous­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (ASHA) has released an Spe­cial Issue Brief pre­pared by Sharp­Brains to pro­vide qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion on mar­ket trends, best prac­tices by lead­ing seniors hous­ing and long-term care orga­ni­za­tions, lessons from pilot stud­ies, nav­i­ga­tion­al guid­ance, and more. If you are a pro­fes­sion­al or exec­u­tive in the sec­tor, please con­sid­er pur­chas­ing a copy.

The Future of Com­put­er-assist­ed Cog­ni­tive Ther­a­py: Cog­ni­tive ther­a­py is one of the most researched types of brain train­ing, espe­cial­ly in deal­ing with depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Why don’t more peo­ple ben­e­fit today from it? The lack of a scal­able dis­tri­b­u­tion mod­el may per­haps explain that. We pre­dict that tech­nol­o­gy will help com­ple­ment the role of ther­a­pists, help­ing more peo­ple bet­ter cope with change, life, anx­i­ety, and a range of cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al chal­lenges. With­out any stig­ma. Just as nat­u­ral­ly as one trains abdom­i­nal mus­cles today.

Brain Teas­er
Games for the Brain: Quick, can you iden­ti­fy what is going on in these pho­tographs?

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We hope you enjoyed this edi­tion. As always, you are wel­come to share these arti­cles with friends, and to give us feed­back, for extra brain work­out.

Hourglass #3: the biology of aging

Wel­come to the third edi­tion of Hour­glass, the month­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of blog­gers to Hourglassdis­cuss the Biol­o­gy of Aging.

For today’s edi­tion, let’s imag­ine all par­tic­i­pants sit­ting around a table lead­ing a live­ly Ques­tions & Answers ses­sion, dis­cussing as a group, lis­ten­ing, talk­ing. (And, well, aging.)

Q: What is aging?
Ms. Wikipedia: “Age­ing or aging (Amer­i­can Eng­lish) is the accu­mu­la­tion of changes in an organ­ism or object over time. Age­ing in humans refers to a mul­ti­di­men­sion­al process of phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, and social change. Some dimen­sions of age­ing grow and expand over time, while oth­ers decline. Reac­tion time, for exam­ple, may slow with age, while knowl­edge of world events and wis­dom may expand.”

Aging may not be the sex­i­est  of words in our vocab­u­lary. Unless, of course (as I heard some­where recent­ly but can’t prop­er­ly cred­it), you con­sid­er the most com­mon alter­na­tive.

Q: If the objec­tive of anti-aging research is to extend lifes­pan, isn’t there a risk that we may neglect qual­i­ty of life. After all, would peo­ple real­ly like to spend more years afflict­ed by the dis­eases and the decline that often come with age?
Ed (dragged to the dis­cus­sion by Chris and Alvaro): I have rel­a­tive­ly good news to share. A recent Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Den­mark found that the pro­por­tion of elder­ly Danes who man­age to remain inde­pen­dent holds steady at Read the rest of this entry »

New Neurons: Good News, Bad News

Over the last year we have glad­ly seen an avalanche of news on adult neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis (the cre­ation of new neu­rons in adult brains), fol­low­ing recent research reports. Fur­ther, we have seen how the news that phys­i­cal exer­cise can enhance neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis is becom­ing com­mon knowl­edge among many health sys­tems we work with.

Now, the obvi­ous ques­tion that does­n’t always get asked is, “What good are new neu­rons if they don’t sur­vive?”. And that’s where learn­ing, enrich­ment, men­tal exer­cise, are crit­i­cal.

We are glad to intro­duce a new Expert Con­trib­u­tor, Dr. Bill Klemm, a pro­fes­sor of Neu­ro­science at Texas A&M Uni­ver­si­ty, who sum­ma­rizes much research on how new neu­rons are born-and what they need to live long hap­py lives.

- Alvaro

New Neu­rons: Good News, Bad News

– By Dr. Bill Klemm

In the last few years, researchers have dis­cov­ered that new nerve cells (neu­rons) are born, pre­sum­ably from resid­ual stem cells that exist even in adults. That should be good news for all of us as we get old­er and fear men­tal decline. The bad news is that these new neu­rons die, unless our minds are active enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

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