by Sally Rummel for TC Times:
If you’re making lists to help you remember all that you have to do in a day, the most important list by far is your grocery list.
That’s because the food you buy at the grocery store will actually help you “supercharge” your brain, if you make the right choices. Even as people age chronologically, we can maintain a healthy brain into “old age” by adding these smart foods to our daily diets.
Not surprisingly, women and men require different foods, because there are clear differences between male and female brains.
Posted by WBHI on May 8, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Margery D. Rosen for AARP:
Rarely do you find neuroscientists, psychologists and physicians agreeing unequivocally on anything. But here’s an exception: They all say that exercise is hands down the single best thing you can do for your brain. “If we had a pill that could do what exercise does, its sales would put Viagra’s to shame,” says Laura L. Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and author of A Long Bright Future.
The latest research shows that people can continue to learn throughout life. Yes, brain volume shrinks slightly, and some cells die. But the brain continues to make new neurons and fine-tune their connections even very late in life.
Aerobic exercise “reduces the level of brain loss and keeps cognitive abilities sharp,” says John Medina, an affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine and author of Brain Rules. “It also slashes your lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s in half and your risk of general dementia by 60 percent.”
Posted by WBHI on May 2, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Chicago Tribune:
Researchers, doctors, drug and biotech companies, and medical institutions worldwide are urgently seeking to better understand the intricacies of brain function — and particularly to develop therapies to prevent or treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
But despite this substantial effort, no drug or therapy can beat the powerful effect that regular physical exercise has in preventing Alzheimer’s and improving brain function — even in those with Alzheimer’s.
One Mayo Clinic study showed that those who regularly engaged in moderate exercise five or six times a week in later life reduced their risk of mild cognitive impairment by 32 percent compared with more sedentary people. Those who began exercising at midlife saw a 39 percent reduction in the risk of mild cognitive impairment.
Posted by WBHI on Apr 23, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Alexandra Duron for Women’s Health:
Fish may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of brain food, but it’s not the only ingredient that can help keep your mind in shape. Some berries may also help improve cognitive function, according to a new study presented last weekend at the American Society for Nutrition’s Scientific Sessions & Annual Meeting in Boston.
Researchers from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County fed rats a strawberry- and blueberry-based diet for two months, exposed them to radiation (which made the rats age very quickly and show signs of cognitive decline), and then looked at the neurochemical changes that occurred in their brains post-exposure.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 27, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
During the last 3 years, an increasing number of employers have been using brain health programs to reduce employee stress and its associated costs, and interest in brain health is expected to rise significantly over the next few years.
n fact, brain health will likely become mainstreamed in corporate America within 5 to 8 years, says Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of SharpBrains, an independent market research firm that tracks brain health innovation.
“Brain health is not just about disease. It’s not just about depression or anxiety,” says Fernandez, who is coauthor of The SharpBrains’ Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Invest in Your Brain to Maximize Mental Performance for Life, which was scheduled to be released in March. Instead, this new phenomenon focuses on making sure employees can adapt and thrive in their jobs, helping them make good decisions, and making them feel as productive as possible, he says.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 17, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
We all know the importance of keeping healthy and are familiar with the refrains of ‘exercise more’, ‘eat better’ and ‘get regular physicals’. But what about our mental health? Professor Barbara Sahakian, best known for her expertise on cognitive enhancers, challenges society (and government) to prioritise mental health in the same way as we do physical health.
“As a society, we take our mental health for granted,” said Prof Sahakian. “But just like our bodies, it is important to keep our brains fit.”
In any given year, one in every four adults suffers from a mental disorder. As a result, in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability, with depression and anxiety accounting for a significant percentage of the disorders.
Posted by WBHI on Feb 7, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Connie Cone Sexton for Arizona Republic:
More people are pursuing mental fitness, but experts differ on the best approach.
A cluster of small circles filled the screen as Susan Lane worked on achieving the next level of a computer game aimed at improving her memory. The goal: Find matching colored circles. Lane moved the cursor to one oval and clicked. It instantly turned blue. She paused, tapping her fingers on the mouse for a few seconds. She clicked another oval. It was blue. The two ovals disappeared. Success. Lane smiled, pleased with her progress.
For the past six months or so, the 59-year-old Scottsdale woman has been coming to the Speech and Cognition Center, 4545 E. Shea Blvd., in northeast Phoenix.
The center is run by Phyllis Benson, and clients such as Lane come to her for a program called “Excel Brain Gym,” in hopes of challenging their minds, keeping cognitively fit and improving their memory, perception, deduction and logic.
Posted by WBHI on Jan 22, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Lesley Dobson for Saga:
Age alone is not the key factor in poor decision-making in older adults, say US researchers.
We’ve become used to hearing that our brains’ thinking abilities start tailing off in our mid-40s – and from there it’s all pretty much downhill. Now there’s new research that could turn that thinking upside down, thanks to ‘The Healthy Brain, Healthy Decisions’ project in the United States.
The main aim of the study was to identify factors that might reduce or increase the risk of poor decision-making in people aged 50 to 79. Part of the thinking behind this study was that previous large studies hadn’t identified medical problems, such as early dementia, that might affect the decision-making abilities of their participants.
In addition, they had also neglected to take into account the positive aspects of growing older, such as years of decision-making experience and accumulated knowledge.
by Gary Drevitch for Next Avenue:
A range of discoveries cast new light on how our brains age and how we can keep them sharp.
This was a great year for brain science, which is especially good news for those of us in middle age and beyond.
Following is a rundown of five major developments that came to light in 2012 as researchers continue to work on unlocking the secrets of the brain to plot new ways for keeping our minds agile and sharp as we age.
1. To keep your mind young, be like a bee. We already do all we can to limit the effects of aging on our brain. But what if we could actually reverse them?Arizona State University researchers attracted much buzz this summer when they revealed that adult honeybees experience reverse brain aging when they take on responsibilities usually handled by younger bees.
While older bees were out foraging for food, scientists removed younger “nurse” bees from the nest, leaving behind only the babies and the queen. When the older bees returned, about half eventually began caring for the babies themselves, and those bees experienced age-reversing changes in the molecular structure of their brains, including higher levels of the protein Prx6, which is believed to help maintain memory function and ward off dementia. They also lived longer.
Posted by WBHI on Dec 9, 2012 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Deepak Chopra for San Francisco Chronicle:
Evidence is gathering by the day that the brain isn’t really an object but a continuous and active process. Thoughts and experiences create new pathways in the brain. They even affect the output of genes.
What this means for the individual is extremely important. The control center for the brain’s constant shaping and reshaping is you, the person who is using the brain. Although there are many brain processes that run on automatic, they too are highly influenced by experiences – that’s why, for instance, the automatic rise and fall of blood pressure during the day is highly responsive to all the things that happened to you during the day.
Brain health comes down to a simple-seeming formula: maximize the positive input and minimize the negative input. The result will be positive rather than negative output. To some extent the difference between positive and negative input isn’t hard to define: