Archive for August, 2009

When Should Your Memory Be Tested?

Remember! Image by Ambrozio on Stock.Xchng

Nearly everyone experiences memory problems from time to time – and forgetful moments happen even in our youth!  But as we age, we’re less likely to dismiss it as a moment of distraction, and more likely to be concerned that it’s a sign of serious mental deterioration.

Most of the time, memory glitches aren’t symptoms of  serious problems, of course – but how do we know?  When should we talk to a doctor, and have our memory checked?

Here’s a quick checklist of some signs and symptoms that are cause for concern: (more…)

August 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

Expanding Waistlines, Shrinking Brains?

image Last year, a study found that people who were overweight in midlife had a higher risk of developing dementia later in life.  But a new study out of the University of California  finds an even stronger connection between weight and brain health…

In this study, brain scans of people in their 70s were examined, and compared to their weight – and a pattern developed.  The brains of the people who were overweight or obese appeared to be smaller, with much of the shrinkage in areas important for memory and planning. (more…)

August 25, 2009 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

Shake Up Your Brain: Think "Backwards!"

image One of the keys to keeping your brain exercised and healthy is to challenge and shake up established routines and habits.  Here’s how it works:

Each time you repeat an action or thought, that particular neural network is strengthened, and repeating it again becomes easier and more natural.  Over time, that particular neural network becomes so strong that your thoughts follow that path naturally, and trying to do things differently becomes difficult.

(more…)

August 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Religious Rites: Good for the Brain? And What About Atheists?

Praying & Devotion: Image by TALUDA on Stock.XchngSome of the most revealing research in brain health has come from studies of  religious communities:  Catholic Nuns and Buddhist Monks.  And some of the results have been surprising – their practices of faith (including intensive prayers, contemplation and meditation) appear to affect their brain profoundly, changing blood flow, brainwave states, encouraging neural growth, and protecting the health of their brain against some of the effects of stress and aging.   But is the benefit because of their faith, or because of the rituals associated with their faith?

Can people of other belief systems (or no belief systems) still find benefit through adapting the practices? Neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, author of “How God Changes Your Brain” thinks the answer is yes.  He believes that even atheists can benefit from the focus on calm concentration, contemplation and compassion found in religious practices.

(more…)

August 18, 2009 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

8 Tips For A Brain Healthy Breakfast

Fried Egg Image by brokenarts on Stock.Xchng Eating a quality, balanced meal when you wake up goes a long way towards helping your brain’s cognitive function at its best, providing a boost in energy and nutrients that can set the tone for the whole day.

But what you eat matters as much or more than when…  Are your breakfast habits brain healthy?  Read on for 8 tips to keep your breakfast brain-healthy!

(more…)

August 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

Feeling Confused? Poor Memory? Check Your Medications!

Medication Image by Egahen on Stock.XhcngYesterday, my stepfather needed a little help sorting out his prescriptions for a   reduced cost program.  Not surprising.. he’s got a whole basketful of pill bottles, all generics with very limited info on the bottles.  It’s enough to confuse anyone!

I got on the phone with him, intending to just be moral support and help keep him on track as he made notes in preparation for the paperwork.

Very quickly, it was clear he needed more than moral support.

He seemed just overwhelmed by the task, very confused, couldn’t follow my instructions and didn’t seem to remember what anything was for.  I told him to put Mom on the phone, please, and that we’d do it for him.   She ended up chasing him out of the room because he kept picking up bottles and putting them in the wrong pile.

So bottle by bottle, we went through the bottles of pills..

(more…)

August 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

The More, The Better: Brain Exercise Benefits Are Cumulative!

King of Hearts image by Lusi on Stock.XchngWhen you think of exercising your brain, do you think about which activities you  should focus on, trying to pick and choose the one that might be best? Do you wonder if card playing might be better than crosswords, and crosswords better than reading?

A newly released  study suggests a different approach – instead of choosing a “best” exercise for the brain, we should be doing as many mentally stimulating activities as possible…   because the effects are cumulative!

(more…)

August 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness

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