Sunday, February 21, 2016

Best Exercise for Brains

I’m brain-damaged. 

This will come to no surprise to many of you who read this blog. As a result of my initial surgery, follow-up surgeries and treatments, my brain performance was, well, worse than pre-brain tumor.

As a result, I’m continually looking for ways to improve my thought process, my brain power and my ability to cogitate (assuming these are all different things).

So, you shouldn’t be surprised that I am keenly interested in a recent article entitled “Which Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?” written by the wonderful Gretchen Reynolds:  

The article reprises research conducted by researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland which studied the impact of different kinds of exercise on the brains of mice. Here’s what I believe to be the most revealing quote of the article:Those rats that had jogged on wheels showed robust levels of neurogenesis. Their hippocampal tissue teemed with new neurons, far more than in the brains of the sedentary animals. The greater the distance that a runner had covered during the experiment, the more new cells its brain now contained.

Reynolds goes on to write that “Obviously, rats are not people. But the implications of these findings are provocative. They suggest, said Miriam Nokia, a research fellow at the University of Jyvaskyla who led the study, that ‘sustained aerobic exercise might be most beneficial for brain health also in humans.’”

Before you start training for a marathon, however, I suggest that you read her entire article.

And here’s a link to the abstract in the “The Journal of Physiology” -

Copyright: <a href=''>jorgenmac / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Monday, February 8, 2016

“Under what conditions does brain training work?”

That‘s the title of an interesting presentation from the 2015 SharpBrains Virtual Summit. I desperately want brain training to work.  After misadventures with my brain tumor and subsequent post-operations incidents, I need to improve my cognition.

After reading the U.S. Federal Trade Commission press release which announced that “Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising Charges for Its “Brain Training” Program” - -  I began to wonder if this online brain-training business was worth anything at all.

That’s why I appreciated reading this presentation deck from the SharpBrains 2015 Virtual Summit which discusses that very topic. Here’s a link to those slides posted on LinkedIn:

A word of caution: these are the “slides” without the audio narrative that explains the slides. As a result, the information is incomplete. You can, of course, purchase access from SharpBrains for the full contents.

Given that caveat, I wanted to make sure that brain tumor victims and caregivers and friends and family have some access to an independent third-party point of view.

The presenters in this include Alvaro Fernandez, CEO & Co-Founder of SharpBrains; Bruce E. Wexler, Professor Psychiatry, Yale University; Roy Hamilton, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania.

Having written all that, I believe that the SharpBrains website is a good, unbiased site for information about brain health and all the latest brain improvement gadgetry that’s flooding the market -