Archive for September, 2009

Get Your Zzzz’s: Sleep Deprivation & Alzheimer’s

Dog Tired!  Image by mmagallan on Stock.Xchng For quite some time now, researchers have known that sleep is important to the brain.  It’s pretty obvious even to regular people, like us – without enough sleep, we quickly start mentally stumbling around, losing focus and dulling our cognitive functions.

Researchers have also known that Alzheimer’s patients often have difficulty sleeping – but they’ve always  assumed that the poor sleep was caused by the disease. But a new study suggests that poor sleep habits may actually contribute to the process that leads to developing Alzheimer’s in the first place.

Here’s what happens: (more…)

September 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm 6 comments

Take Your Camera For A Memory Jog!

Camera image by nezabarom on Stock.Xchng

Earlier this week, I wrote about  Microsoft’s Sensecam, an experimental example  of how digital cameras can be used to improve failing memories.   Today, I thought I’d talk about how those of us who don’t have access to Microsoft’s Top Secret Research Labs can experiment with some of the same benefits through a do-it-yourself version.


September 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm 2 comments

Photography As A Memory Tool?

Scrapbook of Memories - Image by the ever awesome Lusi on Stock.XchngPhotography is a popular hobby, and if you challenge yourself to learn it as an art and science, it can provide excellent exercise for your brain.  But there may be ways to use photography even more effectively to help keep the mind and memory sharp.

Some years ago, Microsoft experimented with a photography prototype called  the Sensecam – an automated camera about the size of a deck of cards, which automatically snaps photos every few minutes, (or whenever significant changes in light, temperature, or movement are detected)

Worn around the neck, the Sensecam captures the wearer’s experience in a series of images that can be played back like a movie, condensing the day into 2-3 minute visual stream. The idea is to help people with memory loss – providing them not only with a record to refer back to, but a means of strengthening their memories through recall. (more…)

September 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm 2 comments

"Give Thanks For Loved Ones" and Win a $2500 Brain Fitness System from Dakim

Winner!  Composite Image based on works by Jan Willem Geertsma and IndianSum, both on Stock.Xchng

So, I thought this was pretty seriously cool.

In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and Thanksgiving, Dakim Inc and have joined forces in a rather awesome contest, named “Give Thanks for Loved Ones.”

The prize? 5 lucky seniors (age 65 or older) will win a complete Dakim Brain System, as well as a year’s worth of updates.  Dakim’s system is pretty much the Rolls Royce of brain training, and each prize has a value of $2,500.

The system itself includes a computerized, touchscreen unit about the size of a laptop, loaded with multimedia brain exercises and games.  It’s remarkably simple to use, and designed specifically for seniors – in fact, it’s the most widely used product found in senior communities across the US.

Here’s the part I really like… (more…)

September 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Why Travel Is Good For Your Brain

Camping image by Inferatu on Stock.Xchng Travel is a traditional past time for retirees, but did you know it may also help keep the brain sharp, even in the face of illness like Alzheimer’s?

Traveling exposes us to new and novel landscapes, foods, cultures, and experiences – providing us with an enriched environment.  And enriched environments help keep the brain sharp – at least according to a fascinating study done on lab mice!

The Study

A group of mice were separated into two groups. One group of mice which spent their time in solitary, never-changing cages.  The other group were given an “enriched environment”, meaning they were kept in larger tanks in small social groups, with a wide variety of colorful toys and exercise equipment that changed daily.    Mice from both groups were encouraged to exercise which scientists know causes the brain to produce new neurons – and the mice in both groups did, indeed, produce new neurons in their brains.  (more…)

September 15, 2009 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment

10 Simple Steps to a Healthier Brain

Walk! ( Image by ColinBroug on Stock.Xchng) 1.  Go For A Daily Walk
Exercise is crucial for brain health; it improves blood and oxygen circulation, relieves  stress, and stimulates the brain to grow and repair neural networks.  If you could only do one thing for your brain’s health, regular exercise would be the single most effective choice!

2. Train Your brain
Whether you use formal brain training systems or a variety of do-it-yourself intellectual exercises, continually challenging your mind  keeps your existing skills sharp, builds new neural networks and helps minimize memory loss by creating a cognitive reserve.

3. Eat Your Fish!
That old common wisdom about fish being brain food? It’s true!  Fish (especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna and herrings) contains high levels of Omega-3, a nutrient crucial to brain and heart health, which many people are short on.


September 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Making Life Meaningful At Any Age

imageOne of the biggest challenges facing us as we age are the changes in our sense  of purpose.   The children are grown, there are no more PTA meetings to attend, we no longer punch in our time clocks or dart from business meeting to business meeting.

Whether it’s Empty-Nest Syndrome or the  Retiree Blues, it’s easy to find ourselves floundering as our lives change, and the meaning which has driven us for decades falls away.  When we reach the place of thinking “Why am I doing this, what’s the point?” we’re tumbling towards depression – and that’s a risky place to be, when it comes to having a healthy and well brain.


September 8, 2009 at 4:11 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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