Archive for October, 2009

Think Old Age = Poor Memory? Think Again, For Your Own Memory’s Sake

Rocking Chairs and Cats: Stereotypes of Aging (image by jbmclemore on Stock.Xchnge)Stereotypes about seniors and poor memory are cemented in our  cultural views –  so strongly cemented that even young people jokingly refer to misplaced car keys as “senior moments”.

But buying into these stereotypes may help make them reality, according to research from  North Carolina State University.

The study found that seniors who believe older adults have poorer memories and would perform poorly on memory tests did, indeed, perform poorly, while seniors who didn’t believe that aging and failing minds are connected did significantly better on the same test.

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October 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Of Art, Alzheimer’s & Neuroplasticity

Art & Alzheimer's:  Image by iprole on Stock.Xchng Alzheimer’s disease tragically destroys functions in the brain, hindering access to memory, language, and communication skills.  But sometimes, unexpected creativity can blossom in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

They may find self expression in abstract arrangements of found objects, like Josephine Mickow (who, sadly, passed away in her daughter’s arms this month), or benefit from more formalized programs  that take them to museums, or classes that help them paint, draw, or sculpt.

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October 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm 1 comment

Doodling: Yet Another Unexpected Brain Boost!

Doodle! Image by ba1969 on Stock.Xchng We’ve all done it… scribbled absently in the margins of a book, on  backs of envelopes, even on our hands. Doodling has long been assumed to be evidence of boredom, daydreaming and distraction, but new evidence suggests that it may actually help the brain be able to focus, and provide our brain functions with an extra boost of attention.

Over at Plymouth University, 40 people were asked to listen to a two and a half minute recorded phone call – a rather dull list of names and places.  Afterwards, they were asked to write down as many of them as they could remember.

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October 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

Googling The Internet: An Unexpected Brain Boost?

Image by svileen001 on Stock.Xchng

When my Grandfather first learned to run a computer, he was fascinated.  And when he found out how to hook it up to the Internet and use Google, it was even better – as if he suddenly had the world’s largest library available at his fingertips.  We all knew it was good for him, and kept him interested in life and learning, and it was great to see his interest sparked so brightly.

But what we didn’t know was that learning to navigate and search the Internet likely made significant and positive changes in his brain – possibly helping to keep him clear minded and sharp.

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October 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm Leave a comment

Power Naps: A Sleep Solution

The brain needs sleep for good cognitive function – skimping on your nightly Zzzz’s for even one night can affect your focus and memory, and scientists Well Rested!  have recently drawn a link between ongoing sleep deprivation and the development of Alzheimer’s plaques.

But no matter how important it may be, insomnia troubles many of us, and life’s schedules and health problems don’t always allow for a full and restful night’s sleep.   As we age, many of us experience trouble getting enough rest.

One solution? Power Naps – an idea that even NASA is on board with. (more…)

October 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm 1 comment

Memory Isn’t The First To Go: More Early Warnings of Alzheimer’s

Jigsaw Jigsaw Puzzle Image by Daino 16 on Stock.Xhcng Last week, I mentioned a study about money management troubles as an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.  This week, there’s information on what may be an even earlier detectible change in cognitive processes – problems with visual and spatial skills.

Visuospatial functions allow us to judge where objects are in relation to one another (and to ourselves) – they’re what tell us that the glass of tea is behind and to the right of the plate our sandwich is sitting on, and what tells us how fast and how far away the oncoming traffic is.   They also allow us to picture them in our heads, so we can draw mental maps, rotate jigsaw puzzle pieces to fit together, even recognize faces.  Spatial skills are crucial for our day to day lives, and fairly easy to measure with simple tests.

And new research suggests these skills may be the first to go, as Alzheimer’s develops.  (more…)

October 13, 2009 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Brain Healthy Foods: Six Simple Snacks

Healthy eating is a big part of keeping your brain fit. It provides the energy you  need for clear thinking, the nutrients for building, protecting and even repairing your neural network of brain cells.  And by choosing healthy snacks, you can prevent blood glucose  roller-coasters that is associated with memory problems. So what’s healthy, and what’s not?  Here are a few suggestions:

Image by forwardcom on Stock.Xchng1. Go Nuts

Nuts make excellent snacks, each variety providing a different brain-boosting mix of nutrients. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans…. all of them benefit the brain in a variety of ways, providing protein, Omega-3’s, and more.  A handful of them a day is a great addition to the diet (but watch out for the overly salted mixes, and don’t over indulge; nuts are high in fats)

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October 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm 1 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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