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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Cognitive Training or Gingko Biloba to prevent cognitive decline and dementia? New comprehensive report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine clarifies priorities for public health and for future research

Evi­dence Sup­port­ing Three Inter­ven­tions That Might Slow Cog­ni­tive Decline and the Onset of Demen­tia Is Encour­ag­ing but Insuf­fi­cient to Jus­ti­fy a Pub­lic Health Cam­paign Focused on Their Adop­tion (Nation­al Acad­e­mies of Sci­ences, Engi­neer­ing, and Med­i­cine):

Cog­ni­tive train­ing, blood pres­sure man­age­ment for peo­ple with hyper­ten­sion, and increased phys­i­cal activ­i­ty all show mod­est but incon­clu­sive evi­dence that they can help pre­vent cog­ni­tive decline and demen­tia, but there is insuf­fi­cient evi­dence to sup­port a pub­lic health cam­paign encour­ag­ing their adop­tion, says a new report from the Nation­al Acad­e­mies of Sci­ences, Engi­neer­ing, and Med­i­cine. Addi­tion­al research is need­ed to fur­ther under­stand and gain con­fi­dence in their effec­tive­ness, said the com­mit­tee that con­duct­ed the study and wrote the report Read the rest of this entry »

Can food improve brain health?

In oth­er words, may some foods be specif­i­cal­ly good for brain func­tion?

For a great in-depth review of the effects of food on the brain you can check out Fer­nan­do Gomez-Pinil­la’s recent arti­cle in Nature Reviews Neu­ro­science (ref­er­ence below). Here is an overview of the state off the research.

Sev­er­al com­po­nents of diet seem to have a pos­i­tive effect on brain func­tion.

Omega‑3 fat­ty acids

These acids are nor­mal con­stituents of cell mem­branes and are essen­tial for nor­mal brain func­tion. Omega‑3 fat­ty acids can be found in fish (salmon), kiwi, and wal­nuts. Docosa­hexaenoic acid, or DHA, is the most abun­dant omega‑3 fat­ty acid in cell mem­branes in the brain. The human body pro­duces DHA but not enough. So we are depen­dent on the DHA that we get from what we eat.

A ran­dom­ized dou­ble-blind con­trolled tri­al (which means seri­ous­ly con­duct­ed sci­en­tif­ic study) is cur­rent­ly look­ing at the effect of tak­ing omega‑3 fat­ty acids on chil­dren’s per­for­mance at school in Eng­land. Pre­lim­i­nary results (Port­wood, 2006) sug­gest that Read the rest of this entry »

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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