Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Why financial analysts should grab a paint brush and a canvas (and artists do more math)

Which Brain Exer­cis­es Improve Mem­o­ry Best? (Reader’s Digest):

The exer­cis­es you do to keep your mind sharp may not be enough to improve mem­o­ry over time, but new research from the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness reveals bet­ter ways to boost your brain health…If you can breeze through the Sun­day puz­zle, you are not doing your mind any favors. That’s because the key to a vibrant, healthy brain includes chal­lenge and novelty…keep your brain fit with new activ­i­ties that test var­i­ous skills; a finan­cial ana­lyst may want to grab a paint brush and a can­vas, for exam­ple. Even play­ing dif­fer­ent types of puzzles–a cross­word today, Sudoku tomorrow–is bet­ter than doing the same type over and over again.”

Learn more:

From crosswords and sudoku to individualized brain training

brainsMind Games? Gyms For The Brain Avail­able Online (Investor’s Busi­ness Dai­ly):

  • If your New Year’s res­o­lu­tion is exer­cise — exer­cise your brain, that is — then cyber­space might be just the place for you… Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Training & Brain Teasers Can Increase Openness Among Older Adults

Brain Teasers Make Seniors More Open to New Ven­tures (med­page today):

- ” A cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram that includ­ed Sudoku and cross­word puz­zles made old­er adults more open to new expe­ri­ences, accord­ing to a pre­lim­i­nary study.”

- “Old­er adults under­go changes in per­son­al­i­ty, includ­ing shifts in open­ness or will­ing­ness to seek out new and cog­ni­tive­ly chal­leng­ing expe­ri­ences. A num­ber of inter­ven­tions have been designed to enrich cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing in old­er adults, but lit­tle has been done to devel­op open­ness, the authors explained.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cars don’t work because they don’t fly

Study Ques­tions Effec­tive­ness Of $80 Mil­lion Per Year ‘Brain Exer­cise Prod­ucts Indus­try for Elder­ly (Sci­ence Dai­ly)

- “There is much research on the ben­e­fits of cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion strate­gies among elder­ly who already expe­ri­ence mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s dis­ease, as well as on the pos­i­tive impact of phys­i­cal exer­cise. The researchers, how­ev­er, want­ed to eval­u­ate cur­rent research that would focus on the impact of cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tions in the healthy elder­ly pop­u­la­tion.”

- “…they con­clud­ed that there was no evi­dence indi­cat­ing that struc­tured cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tion pro­grams had an impact on the pro­gres­sion of demen­tia in the healthy elder­ly pop­u­la­tion”

Com­ment:  we have not reviewed the analy­sis yet, so can­not com­ment in depth. How­ev­er, just from the press release, we see a few poten­tial prob­lems in how the study was framed, reduc­ing its prac­ti­cal val­ue: Read the rest of this entry »

Wellness Coaching for Brain Health and Fitness

We just received this quote of how a major health sys­tem is using our Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket Report:

At Sut­ter Health Part­ners we rec­og­nize the impor­tance of brain health and how much the health of the brain and the body are inter­de­pen­dent.  The mar­ket report helped us fur­ther tar­get our coach­ing efforts to inte­grate brain fit­ness and upgrade our entire coach­ing plat­form.  It is easy to read and gives you the indus­try per­spec­tive in a thor­ough yet con­cise man­ner.  I high­ly rec­om­mend it!”

– Mar­garet Sabin, CEO of Sut­ter Health Part­ners and VP, New Prod­uct Devel­op­ment, at Sut­ter Health.

You may won­der, “what is the link between  well­ness coach­ing and brain fit­ness”?

In prac­tice, good health and well­ness coach­es pro­vide excel­lent brain health advice, giv­en that the areas they focus on (nutri­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise, stress man­age­ment) do play an impor­tant role in main­tain­ing our brains in top shape.

Addi­tion­al­ly, pio­neers  such as Sut­ter Health Part­ners are adding a Brain “lens” to their work. How?

First, by bet­ter under­stand­ing and explain­ing the brain ben­e­fits of what they already do, in order to pro­vide addi­tion­al moti­va­tion to stick with healthy behav­iors. For exam­ple, most peo­ple will be able to recite mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits of mod­er­ate car­dio­vas­cu­lar exer­cise. But how many know  that it can also con­tribute to neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis -the cre­ation of new neu­rons — in adult brains?

Sec­ond, by start­ing to offer brain fit­ness guide­lines to clients who want too go beyond cross­word puz­zles and sudoku.

I had a great train­ing ses­sion with a num­ber of Sut­ter Health coach­es last week — let me sum­ma­rize some of the main points we cov­ered. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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