Monday, April 2, 2012

Playing Memory Games Aids Seniors Brains

A recent study has shown that playing memory games, doing puzzles and art can aid senior’s memory and brain function. Science has discovered that keeping mentally active is shown to reduce the chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers did a study with 180 people aged 65 to 75 who had good eyesight, hearing and communication skills.

They randomly assigned participants to training sessions twice a week for 12 weeks or to a wait list as part of the control group. The study found that memory games and cognitive training can improve memory, reasoning and attention span. Over time this can maintain the functioning of older people’s minds and keep them sharper which will stave off mental health disorders such as dementia.

The memory games included cognitive training such as repeated practice, problem solving tasks and reasoning skills. The sessions lasted one hour for each patient in the group. They also received homework to take home to reinforce what they have learned. The repetition went a long way in keeping the information fresh in their mind and making brain functioning easier.

This training helped the participants score higher on a series of test designed to measure cognitive skills and abilities. The study showed that there were measurable benefits after the booster training sessions. The studies to measure the cognitive skills were given by technicians who had no idea which group the senior participants were in.

The study regarding memory games did have some hiccups which the researchers acknowledged. 53 participants quit during the study mostly claiming they could not remember appointment times or didn’t want to head out for sessions in the hot summer months. This particular study was done in China so it would need to be repeated in other areas around the world to see if the findings stand true.

There are many studies however that suggest the same thing that memory games and brain games improve brain function and improve cognitive skills. The healthier your brain is the less likely you are to end up with dementia or Alzheimer’s. A healthy brain is made and requires that you keep your mind busy, your body healthy and to always keep using it.

Each day you should spend at least a few minutes giving your brain a little workout with memory games. No matter your age this will improve brain function which makes it easier for you to remember things and improves your problem solving skills.

It is key to maintain and improve your brain health over time to remain healthy and cognitively fit. Today, research has demonstrated a clear correlation between overall quality of life, brain games and training and mental health. As we take care of our physical body, it is now proven that brain training and serious brain games can have a very positive impact on many aspects of life at every age and also at the later stage of life. Memory, concentration and other key cognitive skills can be training and measured. It is important to keep constantly challenging your brain to maintain your health!

Computers Boost Brain Plasticity

New studies are showing how computers can boost brain plasticity with patients who suffer from mental illnesses for example. Brain plasticity the brain’s ability to make new connections and function more efficiently, the more connections your brain makes the better it work for you. So as science identifies more ways to increase brain plasticity it can help a lot of people.

In this particular study they focused on computer training programs that are designed specifically to increase cognitive abilities. There was one study conducted on people who suffered from schizophrenia and another study focused on people who had other mental illnesses. Each set of patients did computer activities designed to focus on the front area of the brain.

The past 20 years have seen major advances in neuroscience research and we have learned much more about the mechanics of the brain and the changes it goes through in a lifetime. In the group of people with schizophrenia the doctors used 31 patients with a longstanding history with the disease as well as 15 healthy control patients so they could compare the difference.

The patients received 80 hours of intensive computer training in the laboratory. In the first round of MRI reality monitoring they did a word association test. The healthy people showed increased functionality when recalling these words. The people with schizophrenia showed no increased brain plasticity. After the training the patients with schizophrenia identified a much larger amount of words and showed significantly more brain activity when doing it.

The study was completed over a 16 week period the more computer training tasks the patients did the more they started to catch up with the healthy patients in terms of processing and brain plasticity. Also by the end of the study their social functioning was very much improved also.

The same results were found with the other patients. The scientists with this study used the Stroop test to measure attention, flexibility and functioning during an MRI. These patients as well showed an increase in brain plasticity and functioning after using computer brain training programs.

In addition one of the more startling findings was that the mind at rest also saw increases in activity. With the healthy group and at rest mind went into a decline of activity. The other unexpected finding is though there as increase in brain plasticity there was no increase in grey and white matter. The scientists attributed this to the natural decline of plasticity seen in patients.

Today we have new technique that can help maintain and improve brain health of individuals through brain training. Leveraging brain plasticity, brain training has been proven to be an important tool to have a healthy lifestyle. Through computers and online programs, you can actually leverage that plasticity of your mind to exercise the cognitive abilities that are important for your daily life. Memory, concentration and other abilities need to be maintained as long as possible and can be even further improved over time. Thanks to computer, the world today can remain healthy and even sharper!

Being Overweight May Lead to Reduced Cognition

A new study asks the question does a big belly lower your cognition. A Korean study suggests that it might. We all know being overweight is unhealthy in general. It can wreak havoc on your heart, joints and many other key body functions. Little was known before now though about how it affects the brain.

The study consisted of 250 adults age 60 or older and was designed to see if there is a link between obesity and cognitive decline. Prior to the study the researchers calculated the participant’s BMI or Body Mass Index and used scans to check cognition based tests. Subjects with the highest BMI performed the worst on the cognitive skills test.

The biggest association seemed to be with people with large amounts of visceral fat which is fat found around the torso otherwise known as belly fat. The results suggest that with extra belly fat people could be at a higher risk for brain diseases such as dementia. Oddly there was less of a link with obesity and lower cognitive skills in the people over 70 compared to the people between 60-70.

Although researchers are not 100% sure the difference about the age groups they believe is based on the fact that people by that age who have dementia likely would have lost a lot of weight. The conclusion is that by decreasing obesity you decrease your chance of cognitive decline or risk of dementia.

The more the loss of cognition goes on the more likely people are to suffer long term problems. There are many reasons to not be obese but considering how important the brain is for day to day functioning keep your brain fit may be the best reason of all to lose weight.

There have been many general health activities that have lead to a healthier brain and better cognition. Some of those other things include physical activities and eating right. Overall the healthier you are the more likely you will not deal with a loss of cognition or dementia later in life.

Cognition refers to mental processes the brain goes through. These processes can include things like remembering, producing or understanding language and solving problems and making decisions. Cognition can be conscious or unconscious and can also be called cognitive process or cognitive skills.

The better your cognition is improved with things such as being a healthy weight, eating right and physical activity. When your cognition is improved you will become a better thinker and processing information will be easier for you.

Leveraging existing brain games and other serious brain training tasks, you can actually also assess yourself and all your important cognitive abilities. When you know where you are standing, you can then decide to train on these core cognitive skills and improve them over time. This is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a sharp brain over time. It is proven that you can improve your quality of life by remaining sharp and maintaining a good level of cognitive health and development.

New Ways To Treat Mental Health Disorders

In your lifetime you have a 46% chance of suffering from some kind of mental health disorder. It can come in many various forms including anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders or even an eating disorder. More than 50% of the people in this country that seeks mental health help from a professional go to their primary care doctor.

When someone sees a primary care physician for a mental health disorder the information and treatment they will get is very general. If you have a mental health problem then you should really see a doctor who specializes in mental health disorders.

This is easier said than done for a huge population of the United States that live in rural communities. Many rural areas around the country don’t have access to mental health specialists for hundreds of miles. The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska has come up with a creative way to fill the need for mental health help in rural communities.

They have created new online training modules that help primary care providers treat patients with mental health issues. They realized that it was easier to bring the pertinent information to the primary care providers than to expect the mental health professionals to show up in rural areas.

One of the main components of the program focuses on treating depression in adolescents, adults and older people. The UNMC has been recognized many times in its work with primary care providers. The adolescent module was the first to be released and has been viewed by hundreds of doctors all around the world. The goal is to help primary care doctors become comfortable with mental health treatment and medications and also knowing when a referral to a psychiatrist or therapist is necessary.

This has been helpful to get into the care providers hands because there is a lot of controversy with teens and mental health drugs. As a result without feeling confident the medication is the right treatment a doctor may not prescribed it and the mental health issue goes untreated. Untreated mental health disorders such as depression are the main reason for suicides in the United States.

One primary care physician from Howard County Medical in St Paul said that it is estimated up to 35% of all primary care visits have some kind of mental health component. In rural areas there is also a stigma associated with seeing a counselor or having a mental disorder. This means treatment is usually delayed and very far progressed by the time the person seeks help.

With advance in technology and online software, there is as well many new possibilities for patients to assess and train themselves from their home comfort and for doctors to track their patients and other individuals at distance (what is known as telemedicine). For example, an online brain training program allow individuals to get some information about their mental health and even improve some of their key cognitive skills all from their computers in their home. These new types of applications offer great benefits for these users who can get rapidly an overview of their mental state.

Research Show Mind Games Improve Your Thinking

When most people think about computer games the last thing they think about is brain health. However thanks to recent research we now know many computer games are actually mind games. There are many different types of mind games or brain games on the market.

These games are designed to be fun but entertainment is not their main goal. The main goal of these mind games is to improve cognitive skills and make you more focused and a better thinker. These types of games usually fall into a couple categories and are preventative in nature. The same way some games are mind games and focused on the brain other games promote physical activity.

There are many new studies that equate mind games with a healthy brain. One such study was conducted by Stanford University on children who have suffered from brain damage as a result of cancer. These children had issues with memory and thinking skills and had issues with organization, behavior, regulating emotions and evaluating success and changing course if necessary.

The children were subjected to 40 sessions of mind games over an 8 week period. All of the children showed higher brain function after the training sessions than they did before they started. The children showed improved problem solving, quicker processing speeds and memory which were measured using standardized tests.

The fundamental message of this study and many brain studies is you can improve the brain even after an injury. The brain is very resilient and can grow with knowledge and stimulation. Another recent study looked at the affects of mind games on self esteem.

In a small scale pilot study at the University of California Berkeley they looked at how playing mind games can help people manage their emotions. Participants took part in a half hour a day training session for 30 days. Those that completed the mind games saw a boost in self esteem that the control group did not.

The group that showed the biggest boost was people who came into the study with a negative view about themselves. As a result these participants reported they showed less depression symptoms and could handle stress better. The people who had showed depression symptoms began to think in a new way and were more problem focused.

Studies have shown that mind games and brain fitness program may also improve will power which can help with addiction. The more science learns about the brain and how it works with all of this research the sooner we can have solid ways to treat brain disorders and keep brains healthy.

This is really important in a society that is rapidly aging. The changes in demographic due to the increasing number of seniors and baby boomers arriving to retirement age will create an important change in the dynamic of our society. It is key to maintain people at their peak in terms of brain health for the maximum time possible, as it will change how our society deals with aging and how we take care of our seniors.

Mind Quiz Games Can Help With Brain Health

The reality is that maybe we have become a pill popping society. No matter what problem you have a doctor somewhere can provide you with a pill to cure what ails you. We are learning though those with mind quiz games your brain can be “hacked” drug free. That basically means changing the way your brain thinks and works can be fixed with no magic pills or potions.

Some people believe that technology could be making us dumber but many studies have proven that doing brain games or a mind quiz can go a long way in improving cognitive function of the brain. Cognitive function is basically your brains ability to do tasks. The quicker and more efficiently your brain can do these tasks the healthier it is.

Recently at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin there was a panel that discussed this particular topic. Megan Miller, one of the moderators, said “You can improve your reflexes, your athleticism, your attention span and even your sex life” with improved cognitive function. A healthy brain really does have an extremely positive effect on many aspects of your life.

A healthy brain can also stave off mental health disorders such as depression, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease. The brains games and mind quiz games that currently exist on the market are effective but the more science learns about the brain and how it functions the better these games will get.

In a recent unpublished study that surveyed 75,000 people on brain activities and lifestyle there were some very interesting findings. The people who did the best on the mind quiz were people who got 7 hours a sleep per night, exercised 2 or more days per wee and didn’t drink. These people also usually read books often or played a musical instrument. You don’t need a ton of activity to keep your brain in shape you just have to be consistent in doing stuff to stimulate it.

One of the speakers at the SXSW event mentioned that in the future he sees people carrying around their mind quiz games on mobile apps in their pockets. The programs will be able to learn their owners habits and lifestyle which will allow for very targeting brain training activities that are customized for individuals.

All of this innovation and research will create many new products and services that are built on mind quiz and brain games. When we have programs that are individualized to a person it is very reasonable to imagine we can do a little hack on someone’s brain through a specific activity and have less of a need for drugs to change the brain.

The thought that one day we can reduce the number of pills people take is great. We can find new solutions to treat and help people have a better life without taking treatments that can have strong secondary effects on their health. This is really important, as there is a need for the society to shift its habits of consumption to new technologies such as brain training and healthier solutions.


Monday, March 26, 2012

How Mind Training Happens With Mind Games

Mind training takes place 24/7 due to a barrage of stimuli that settles in our minds. We do not have control over a greater percentage of it. It is essential to be cognizant of what causes it and be able to monitor and take control of that which we can.

Infants come in touch with a lot of information that their minds must be able to organize then understand. This type of mind training takes place automatically – using the faces we see, sounds we hear, the voices we get to hear and the tones of these voices and their meaning. We do not have control over this initial mind training. When early development occurs in an enriching environment and in accordance with well developed natural order, it proceeds in a manner that effectively supports growth and development later on.

Several direct forms of mind training also start early. Parents deliberately portray certain information and experiences, and establish opportunities and experiences. At very initial stages, age mates also determine what is learned. We go to school, get coaching and receive artistic tuition to deliberately attain mental training.

Incidental mind training continuously occurs as we live. Things that we had not sought out just pop out and we proceed to learn from them. This kind of mental training is normally the main source of phobias and fears including those amazing experiences that give us a better understanding of the world and elevate some to greatness.

Intentional mind training is for the people who have lives that at are most satisfying and successful. They set goals, develop interests and learn what is essential in supporting those things. Someone may choose to set his mind on becoming a teacher, a musician, a doctor, a beautician or a writer. One may also decide to learn more about sewing, fishing, dancing, crafting, hunting and parenting. These endeavors are all forms of intentional mental training.

There is a unique type of brain training that relates to the modification or improvement of the mind’s functions. A good example that falls under this category is happiness. Social workers, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists dedicate their professional lives to providing the types of mind training that helps people to become more competent, effective and happier. When we first hear of the phrase mind training, what comes into our mind is working in order to influence the basic functions of the brain through brain games.

This type of mind games normally focuses on adjusting negative mind training that occurred in other ways such as incidental, directly from others and automatic. When an infant begins to learn that the world cannot be relied on to keep him cool and warm as required, that it lets him stay messy and wet, that it lets him to be hungry and that it causes physical pain to him, the platform has been set early enough to grow the child into a maladjusted person. The early training was detrimental to his later stages in life. The training becomes harmful at the single acquisition of fear.

Magical Facts About Brain Parts And Brain Functions

We have heard about brain plasticity at one point or the other and its effect on our brain function and the different brain parts. Brain plasticity does not mean that the brain is made of plastic. Rather, brain plasticity refers to the neuroplasticity of our brain. Our brains reorganize themselves which makes them to keep changing. Brain reorganization has to do with the newly formed connections between one brain cell and the other. The brain cells are referred to as neurons. Brain plasticity occurs due to a collection of factors including our activities, our learning and environmental factors.

Additionally, brain plasticity may be caused by a brain injury resulting to a loss of a few brain functions. The brain is able to relocate the lost functions to another healthy place. For, instance, if an individual experiences a brain injury that makes him or her to be unable to move their hands; the hand movement can be restored through simulation and practice. This implies that the brain gradually shifts the functions and commands related to this activity to another healthy region within it.

Moreover, it is amazing to know that in our entire adulthood, we learn new things and when doing this enhances our brain plasticity. Majority of us have this misconception that, inter-neural connections remain static with aging. However, this is not true. New connections between our neurons continue even if we age and continue to learn new things. When an individual attempts to continue to grow his/her expertise in a given field, the particular area of the brain which is concerned with the field continues to grow and hence facilitates the learning.

Research has also proved that people who know multiple languages have more brain plasticity than the rest. This also applies to individuals that like getting involved in providing solutions to mathematical problems. Also, painters, poets and artists who utilize their creativity and imagination tend to have more brain plasticity than others. There are those people that have an interest in mind games like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc. For these game players, new inter-neural connections continue to develop resulting to the strengthening of the specific areas associated with these mind games.

Research has also shown that brain plasticity is more common in musicians than non-musicians. Cortex volume has been found to be high among professional musicians. On the other hand, amateur musicians have intermediate cortex volume and the non-musicians have the lowest volume, so far.

Brain plasticity and brain function can be improved by those who prefer to learn abstract things. This is made possible because of the learning functions and memory retrieval involved in the process of learning abstract things.

There are a few forms of brain plasticity that are worth mentioning. The first one is synaptic plasticity which is concerned with the way people learn and retain new information. The second one is neurogenesis. This has to do with the ability of the brain to create brain new cells as a way of replacing the dead ones in several brain parts. It can also be helpful in retaining the function of the brain.

The Areas of Study Around Cognition And Memory Loss

Simply put, Cognitive Science can be defined as an interdisciplinary of the mind and the processes thereof. Cognitive Science evaluates what cognition does and the way it basically works. What you are likely to come across is a plethora of varying methodologies that help in the study of cognitive science. In general, the research in Cognitive Science tends to cut across several fields of study such as computer science, neuroscience and psychology.

The first area of study that Cognitive Science helps to look at is the broad amount of behavioral experiments that are perpetually carried out. The best way to comprehend what brings about intelligent behavior is to conduct a study on this. Research within this area lies in both psychophysics and Cognitive psychology.

The ability to measure and identify the behavioral responses to varying stimuli is what can give us an understanding on stimuli and how they are brought about. For example, scientists are studying various behavioral traces, choices and observations to find out how people are able to carry out a selection between two or more options. This includes many things from psychological responses and reaction time to eye tracking.

The other area of research for Cognitive Science is ingrained in brain imaging. This refers to conducting an analysis of an activity within the brain when it is performing a couple of cognitive tasks. It can eventually assist us in linking the behavior and the functioning of the brain and to understand more on the processing of information.

The neuroscience part of Cognitive Science utilizes a number of imaging techniques. Some of them include optical imaging, electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging and single photo emission computed tomography. Each one of this explains more about the information we have regarding the brain and what it is able to process.

Computational modeling is the other research method that Cognitive Science employs. This requires that the problem be represented in a logical and mathematical manner. Computer models are fully used so as to help in the experiment and stimulate the validity of the varying attributes of intelligence.
The bottom line of all these is to assist us in comprehending the functional organization of a particular cognitive aspect. There are two main approaches to cognitive modeling. The first one is that which follows the associative and neutral properties of the brain. The second one is the abstract mental function of the intelligent mind.

It is a common fact that the human brain is complicated and profound. Every single portion of the brain constitutes of something that plays a bigger role in influencing our lives. Cognitive Science encompasses what we already understand regarding the brain and what we are still striving to know about it. With the current research methods on cognition, an avalanche of information is ever evolving and helping us improve the train programs of our brain and delaying memory loss.

For example, new research in Cognitive Science shows that child abuse can have a permanent effect on the sea-horse shaped part of the brain. Researchers from Harvard University have shown that this might eventually result to adult drug abuse and depression though there are possible treatments.

Enhancing Mental Focus By Playing Brain Games

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body that executes instructions to the rest of the body. The instructions range from motor action to hormone release and many of these are done unconsciously. The cognitive functions of the brain are what enable us to make decisions. The decisions are based on information being currently input and memory of earlier recorded information. To enhance problem solving abilities, a simple technique is to indulge in brain games.

Training the brain improves reaction time, decision making and memory in general. When one begins to play brain games, mental strengths and weaknesses are revealed. In order to excel in the brain games the player must have good focus and observation when information is being relayed. His responses must have fast reflexes and accuracy based on good memory. If an individual gets a good score when playing brain games, it means he can use the same skills to solve real life problems.

In order to get the best and quickest results, improvement of cognitive skills should be supervised by experts. The experts give the best advice by assessing results of brain games using patented scientific criteria. So the first stage is a series of brain games just to see where one stands. The individual is free to compare the initial results with friends and family or even against major figures around the world. Next, a different set of brain games are recommended to immediately begin to improve on cognitive skills. This personalized set of brain games is advised based on the phenomenon of brain plasticity.

Brain plasticity generally refers to the brains remarkable ability to change in structure and neural pathways. Brain games begin to trigger different aspects of brain plasticity as the brain engages in the learning process. For the different tasks, the brain may reestablish earlier unused pathways or develop completely new pathways. Alternatively, in order to adapt to difficulties encountered in intentionally configured brain games, the brain is able to establish compensatory methods. Everyone’s brain is unique similar to fingerprints, thus the cognitive process is wholly unique to each person.

Strong synaptic pathways are established during brain training through brain games. This is similar to conditioned responses in the nervous system. The neural circuits created enable the execution of complex tasks to be accomplished faster. Using the specialized system of brain games, the individual can hone the specific skills that he desires to improve on. Even when encountering new tasks after the brain games exercise, the person will have faster response due to his increased learning curve.

Brain games enable one to focus with reduced synaptic jitter and emotional interference. This helps when conducting very important tasks or when responding to a crisis. The elimination of deterrents like slow memory makes one capable of doing new tasks. It opens the door to new opportunities and experiences. Brain games force an individual out of his comfort zone to attempt things he never would in a real life situation. With the new confidence acquired, he can finally try it out in the real world.

Attaining Your Dreams May Be Determined by Brain Fitness

The ability to conduct simple daily activities is hinged on brain fitness. Balance and co-ordination and other locomotive functions are all the brain’s doing. Apart from the physical, intellectual functions like planning and decision making require a perfectly working brain. Factors that challenge brain fitness include poor diet, depression and drugs. Lack of exercise; both physical and mental exercise, result in low brain fitness.

Poor diet may either refer to malnourishment or the taking of unhealthy foods. Malnourishment deprives the brain of essential energy and causes significant reduction in cognitive functions. Lack of water is especially known to cause the brain to shrink. If prolonged, poor feeding will not only cause low brain fitness but also irreversible brain damage. Foods with a lot of fat on the other hand will increase the risk of blood clots and aneurism. Even before such blockage occurs, the brain fitness will decline due to poor circulation and low oxygen.

Exercising has been proven to not only increase cardiovascular fitness but also influences brain fitness. Physical exercise increases circulation and removes harmful toxins through sweat. It is also regarded as a stress remover which contributes to the brain’s overall health. After a hearty exercise session, an individual releases endorphins which help in better oxidation and hormone balance. Stress and depression cause poor brain fitness and may deteriorate to diseases like dementia and schizophrenia.

Brain fitness must therefore start with good physical and mental health. The right diet should be taken as well as the right medicine. To deal with depression or emotional instability, it is recommended that the individual should seek therapy and other support systems. Next the subject should indulge in brain fitness activities that boost memory and mental manipulation. These may be in the form of games and puzzles. Simple habits such as reading and activities that require calculation will greatly increase brain fitness.

Brain fitness does not only mean increasing one’s intelligence quotient, but also increasing emotional intelligence. This means that one must be able to interact with people meaningfully without buckling under social pressure. Being socially cognitive enables one to sustain important relationships. Social interaction requires one to process a lot of information and those with impaired brain fitness find this difficult to do. Developmental disorders such as child abuse and autism adversely affect cognitive social behavior.

Some of the brain’s impressive abilities are taken for granted in everyday life. These are such as facial recognition and voice recognition. Such unconscious processes are not subject to brain fitness training but are considered to be innate. A brain fitness program is designed only to improve cognitive function only. The exercises are important to combat the threat of dulling of these functions by malaise and aging. Memory is usually the first victim of mental impairment which throws all other cognitive functions off balance. The restoration of brain fitness often requires a concerted effort of socializing, exercise, diet and supplements. It may also need a specialist for specific problems or a coach to aid with one’s progress in the neuroscience field.

Unleash Your Full Potential With Brain Training

The brain is what sets aside the human being as a highly adaptive and dynamic species. Unfortunately many do not attain their full potential due to lack of brain training. From childhood, the brain works on a use or lose policy. The average human being uses on 10% to 20% of his brain. Modern conveniences and audiovisual entertainment may be partly to blame for this growing concern. It is documented that the brain functions less when watching television than when the body is fast asleep. The need for brain training has never been more necessary than in this generation.

The brain has its cognitive functions mainly in the frontal lobe. This is where most of the conscious processing and learning takes place. Mind training can be said to occur in this region. Buddhism specifies the frontal lobe as the site for meditation and the channel of enlightenment. In truth meditation has a strong correlation with scientific mind training. It would seem the ancients had some insights into neurotransmission and the physiology of frontal lobe glands.

The mind can be divided into the conscious and the unconscious functions. Instructions that regulate the functions of the organs are transmitted from the brain via the nervous system. With brain training, the mind is able to consciously influence these functions including heart rate and metabolism. Cases have been recorded whereby a person can consciously regulate his own body temperature. These examples reveal the limitless abilities that can be tapped into with brain training.

The most important element in brain training is memory. There is short term and long term memory which are accessed when making everyday decisions. Low performance at home, work and school is mainly caused by poor memory and poor reflexes. Just like a muscle, the brain must be conditioned if it is expected to perform optimally. Examples of everyday brain training are crossword puzzles and quizzes. Surprisingly, video games are good for the alertness of the brain and for reflexes. They increase decision-making and problem solving mainly because they are more interactive than television.

The conscious brain functions at a relatively low rate as compared to the unconscious brain. Everyday cognitive abilities are processed by the unconscious. They help everybody recognize the things that are obvious but also things that are not so obvious. Braining training can enhance even this covert operation of the brain. The unconscious also accesses long term and working memory but mostly uses the immediate observations to draw conclusions. It may be referred to as the root of the gut feeling or intuition.

Brain training will enable a person to make conscious decisions with more accuracy and less iteration. Indecision and low performance may be brought on by a number of things. It may be from stress, exhaustion, depression or lack of practice. To recover and maintain optimum performance, it is advisable to enroll in a scientific brain training exercise. The training may be general or specific to a desired task. Brain training improves one’s control of his circumstances and thereby boosts confidence.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Keep Drugs For The Later Stages Of Alzheimer’s

LinkAlzheimer’s is a terrible disease which is rapidly spreading as the population all around the world is aging. As of today, there is no complete treatment for the disease and patients vary in the way they react to the disease. It is also very hard for the families of Alzheimer’s patients as there is a need in the later stage of the disease to be constantly around. It is very debilitating. Let’s have a closer look at the existing drugs which help fight the disease.

Those drugs people have been taking for Alzheimer’s may work a little longer than first expected. New research shows that various drugs for the disease that have long been restricted to patients with moderate symptoms can have positive effects on those in the severe stage of the illness.

Just a few years ago donepezil and other drugs alike were in the middle of a high court case. Drug manufactures Eisai took the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to court for not allowing people in the early stage of the disease to receive the drug. After months of fighting, NICE reversed the ban allowing people in the early stages with mild symptoms to have treatment.

While that was all good and well for those in the later stages of the disease, it did nothing for victims suffering severely. This led to a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found the same drugs can and will continue to work in people whose illness has become severe.

For a great deal of time this was nothing more than a hope. But now, compelling evidence has been found that treatment with drugs like donepezil can continue to help patients in the later, more severe stages of the disease. Patients can better remember, understand, communicate and perform daily tasks.

It is important to recognize the fact that these drugs are by no means a cure. Sadly, all 295 patients the study was conducted on continued to get worse. But the bright side is the downhill progress was much slower in those who were given the drug with a similar drug, mementine.

To find the evidence, research measured patients’ scores on tests of thinking and memory along with their ability to dress themselves and conduct normal everyday activities.

Doctors are a bit hesitant, however, to prescribe dementia drugs a lot of times because they come with a massive placebo effect. At the same time, many are beginning to ease into the idea that these drugs may actually deliver real benefits for people at all stages.

While progression is tremendous and the new findings are optimistic, there is still a real need for new drugs that can check or even cure the disease. Relieving the symptoms and memory problems is a start, but it is not enough. Researchers are constantly looking for more funding to crack the problem of finding a cure to Alzheimer’s. Until then, there is only hope that prescribing current drugs to people at all levels can help them experience a little more to life than what was first thought and keep their cognitive skills in better shape.

Alzheimer’s Disease Its Causes And Symptoms

Alzheimer’s is a serious disease of the brain. While it typically affects older people, it is a progressive and generally irreversible disease which has serious consequences for the victims and their families and can also touch younger people even if it is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is a very difficult condition not only for the patients but also for the family and loves ones around them. Today, we have still not find any successful treatments that can cure completely the disease. Let’s discuss some of the causes, symptoms and treatments for this devastating illness.

It is not generally known why some people become affected with Alzheimer’s. Genetics may play a role or even lifestyle. But if the disease does develop, it creates physical changes to the brain which has significant long-term impacts.

If someone is affected by Alzheimer’s, they generally gradual changes in mental function. The disease itself causes the brain cells to function in a degrading fashion and eventually causes them to wither and die. Over time the volume of the brain actually decreases with serious impacts.

In the early stages of the disease, the patient tends to exhibit bouts of forgetfulness. They may forget information like names, addresses or appointments. This is sometimes seen as having a senior moment. But as the disease progresses, the impacts become more severe.

Over time the person will forget more significant information such as their names, address, etc. Eventually they will not recognize loved ones or even who they are.

There is no cure for this difficult disease. However a number of treatments have been developed over the years to help to slow the progression of this disease. There are a number of drug therapies which have been shown to slow down the deterioration and help to retain a good quality of life to its sufferers for many years than previously thought.

And there are promising new developments which will hopefully provide an effective cure and prevent the degradation of mental functions which normally occurs from this disease even if as of today no final treatment has been found. A number of exciting clinical trials are underway and there is great hopes that in the coming year we will find an effective solutions for this very difficult disease which impact not only the mental health of individuals but can also affect all the people around them.

In the mean time other techniques are being employed to help to teach sufferers to challenge and optimize their existing mental capacities in order to provide the best quality of life possible. These may employ brain plasticity and help to reinforce and form new neural pathways.

The importance of diet and mental exercise is also applied to help to minimize the impacts of this disease and even avoid its formation.

So while this is very much a serious problem for many sufferers and their families, there are a number of promising treatments which may offer hope in terms of delaying the progression of the disease or even reversing its impact. There are many useful resources to help provide information and support to individuals and their families who are suffering from this difficult disease.

Mind Games Can Be Fun And Useful

Your brain is probably the most important part of your body. Your brain controls most of the activities and actions you make every single day. Today, we are very aware of the need to remain physically fit to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. More and more people are doing tremendous effort to exercise or pay attention to what they eat. The latest research in neuroscience is also showing that the brain is malleable. You can keep it healthy by doing regular exercise such as with mind games which can help you remain sharp and more focus in your daily life.

You may not be very familiar with them but mind games can be a very effective and entertaining way to increase mental capacity and effectiveness. Let’s discuss more about these mind games and how they can be of benefit to people who want to optimize how they think and process information.

Mind games are typically exercises or drills, which are meant to be entertaining while at the same time, improve mental functions. They can take many different forms such as mathematical quiz, crosswords puzzles, entertaining word puzzles where you seek out hidden words within a larger grouping of words or even memory games.

Our minds respond very well when they are challenged to formulate new thoughts or process information in different ways. By utilizing the concept of brain plasticity, the brain actually makes physical changes to reinforce and retain the new information which is being learned.

So in simple terms, if you are successful at finding hidden words in a puzzle, you will tend to remember those words more effectively.

There are a wide variety of mind games which can be implemented either individually or by another person who is trained in these processes. Again as indicated earlier, a simple labyrinth task can be both an entertaining yet effective way to improve mental functions.

If you are interested in learning more about mind games, you need to carefully slect the ones that you will be playing. You want to start with a program that assesses and tells you where your stand. The program should give you a ranking of your different cognitive abilities and show you the ones that need more training..

A learning center or teacher resource can also help you recommend the best available software around. The system should be able to adapt to your age and tell you where you stand when compared to your peers. This can help you understand exactly your current brain fitness level and give you the extra boost of motivation to start your brain training program.

So if you want to improve memory function or improve your language skills, there are very effective mind games to help you do so. These specialized games may be geared towards children and others which are ideal for older people who want to retain or improve memory function.

If so you will find that these mind games are not only a lot of fun but they can really improve how you think. Try it today!

Brain Games Can Be Fun And Effective At The Same Time

Many people really enjoy all kinds of games. Most people usually associate games with kids and teenagers but there is now a new kind of games that could be useful for every ages. Did you know that there are brain games, which can not only be fun but help you to improve your mental capacities? This has been a very interesting development in helping you improve your quality of life and mental health. Let’s explore this topic further and understand how brain games work and what is their effect on the brain.

It has been found that by challenging the brain in specialized ways, it can respond in a very positive way and actually improves many functions. Based on brain plasticity, we now understand that by effectively challenging your brain, you can actually re-wire your brain and improve your cognition. So there have been certain exercises and drills, which can be implemented either individually or through the use of someone else to help to challenge the brain in a very entertaining manner.

Brain games can take many different forms and shape. I tis usually best to go online and take your cognitive assessment to see where you stand and where you might need some help. Then the system will select and propose you a different series of brain games that are tailored just for you so you can train on the cognitive skills that you need to work on. These tasks can be puzzles or memory drills for example. Tasks can also challenge you to find words within a grouping of letters. These games are designed to be entertaining and fun. But they are very serious business and can help your mind to develop to its fullest.

Brain games can focus on specific topics. So as indicated earlier, there are several tasks which help people to develop language and reading skills. But training your brain to recognize words within a random grouping of letters, neural pathways are reinforced to help you to remember those words in later instances.
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Other types of tasks can improve your memory. There can be tasks which will present a grouping of objects. You look at them for a few seconds and then have to note the type and order at a later time.

Your medical professional may also be able to recommend or implement certain kinds of brain games. They can typically recommend very effective options for you. Check in with your doctor or counselor for further details.
Either way these games are fun, entertaining and effective. So if you want to enjoy a challenging yet fun activity which has proven benefits to improve your mental functions, try one or more brain games.

The link between constantly and regularly challenging your brain and the improvement in brain functions and cognition has now been established. As your physical body which needs to remain healthy to have a more enjoyable life, you want your brain to reach the same levels of health as you grow older. This can help you remain sharp and focus as time goes by.

Why Your Brain Parts Are So Important

The brain is thought as the most complex organ in our bodies. It controls virtually everything we do, our organs and allows us to process information and perceive the world around us in an amazing manner. The brain itself is made up of many brain parts which individually perform certain key functions which are vital to our life. Let’s review this further.

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It is most closely associated with higher brain functions and critical thought. This is the part of the brain which is much larger than other animal’s brains similar in size to us. It is what gives us our unique mental abilities and our ability to think.

Within the cerebrum are other parts which have specialized functions. For example the front lobe of the cerebrum is associated with reasoning, speech, movement, emotions and problem solving skills among others.

The parietal lobe is associated with movement, balance, and perception of stimuli. The occipital lobe is most closely associated with visual processing. And the temporal lobe is associated with perception and the ability to recognize auditory stimuli. It also controls memory and speech.

The cerebrum is also split into two halves. The right half of the cerebrum controls many functions on the left side of your body. And the same thing occurs with the right half of your cerebrum. The latest studies are showing that still we need to have those two parts, or two hemispheres, working together for a proper functioning of our brain. For example, creativity needs the two parts of the brain to work together and not only one part as we usually define how the brain works. Mind exercise can help you train your cognition and can improve the functioning of the two parts.

The ability to process, organize, store and retrieve information is largely performed by the cerebrum. So you can thank this brain part for allowing you to remember many aspects of your fifth year birthday party even though it may have occurred many years earlier. As you may know, your memory is a key aspect of your life and you want to do everything you can to preserve it in a good condition for the long run.

The cerebellum is another key brain part. It is also referred to as the little brain. This brain part plays a critical role in movement as well as posture and balance.

This is the part which allows you to regain your balance if something happens to through it off. So if you are an accomplished skier or surfer, you can thank your cerebellum for helping you to stay on your feet.

The limbic system is that part of the brain which seems to control emotion. It is an older part of the brain, meaning that other parts seem to have evolved more recently.

And another key brain part is the brain stem portion. This is most primitive part of the brain and is very much involved in automatic functions. This includes things like heartrate, breathing rate, perspiration, temperature control, etc.

Many of the functions which the brain stem controls are done without any kind of conscious thought or effort.

Brain Fitness Or Why Your Mind Needs A Workout Too

You probably realize how important it is to stay in shape and keep fit and feel good with yourself. Exercising your body is an essential way to keep your body healthy and manage your energies. But did you realize that it is equally important to consider brain fitness too? Let’s discuss how this can occur and how it can be of benefit.

Many of the same things you do to keep your body fit will also apply to your brain and what we usually refer to your cognitive abilities. For example it is essential that your brain receives proper nutrients through a good diet. Nutrition has been proven to be an important part of a good brain health. It is important to avoid sugary or fatty and junk foods. And stay away from foods with chemicals or preservatives. They are not good for your body and they are certainly not good for your brain.

As you can imagine, the ingredients that are good for the body are also good for your brain. Stick with plenty of green vegetables and fresh fruits. Make certain to drink lots of water in order to keep yourself hydrated and help to flush impurities from your system including your brain.

It is very important to make certain to take in essential vitamins and nutrients. Vitamins like C, D, E and B complex are very beneficial to the brain. If you are depleted in one or more of these vitamins they can really affect how you think and respond to the world around you.

And exercise is very important to your brain as well. You may not realize it but you can exercise your brain. There are brain games in the form of drills or tasks which challenge your brain and gets it to operate in certain ways. As you perform more of these drills, your brain should respond positively to the challenge and improves how it operates.

There are exercises to help your brain in a number of different areas. For instance if you want to improve your memory, there are a number of drills and exercises you can try. In addition there are other drills which will help you to perform mathematical calculations, improve your language skills, your concentration or even your eye-hand coordination.

Other drills can be of benefit when performing complex visual interpretation or spatial reasoning tasks and spatial visualization. You can find many of these brain games and tasks at scientifically validated websites that specialize in brain fitness and cognitive skills development. It is very important to select a program that start by assessing you and then can create a training program based on your results

It is a good idea to focus on these activities on a regular basis. As you challenge your mind, it will certainly respond in a very positive manner and help you in everything you do. So remember that while it’s certainly very important to pursue a good fitness routine for your body, you need to do the same thing for your brain. As you grow older, this will really create a difference in your life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Introduction To Different Brain Functions

Most of us would agree that our brain is an amazing organ. It controls virtually every part of our bodies and allows us to learn and process complex information almost instantaneously and easily. The brain is also the organ that consumes the most energy of our body. It is said that the brain is composed of 100 billions neurons (latest study put that number to 70 billions). It is also a very fragile organ and any injury could have a dramatic impact on the cognitive and intellectual abilities of the concerned individual. Understanding the different brain parts is key to better understand your brain and ultimately yourself. So let’s explore brain function in different areas of our minds.

The cerebral cortex is a very large portion of our brain. It is the outermost layer and allows us to analyze sensory data like sight and sound. It also controls many memory functions and helps us to learn new information and make decisions.

The frontal lobe is another very critical part of our brain. It plays a critical role in cognition and memory. The prefrontal area of the frontal lobe provides us with the ability to concentrate. It is also called the Gatekeeper since it provides us with judgment and inhibition. This area also controls and influences many personality and emotional traits.

This area of our brain also plays a very important role in controlling our movements and in balance. We could not stand or walk otherwise.

And our ability to speak is controlled in this area of our brains as well.

The parietal lobe helps us to keep our bodies in balance as well as process sensory information.

And the occipital lobe is a critical area which provides us with the ability to discriminate visual information. Without this function, we might be able to discern an object but we would have no idea what it was or what it meant.

The temporal lobe is the area most closely associated with language and response to auditory stimuli. It is also the area where memory is accessed and processed.

The hypothalamus performs some automatic functions such as regulation of body temperature and endocrine function. And it can control a stress function such as a fight or flight response.

This area can also control appetite and it is the pleasure center of our brains.

The thalamus is the processing center of the cortex. It controls both automatic functions as well as some controlled functions such as affection.

Our ability to assess and understand different functions of the brain has developed and improved over many years. Scientists have amassed a great deal of knowledge in these areas.

However there is still much to be learned. And there have been many instances where certain areas of the brain which have been damaged can have other areas retrained to perform the same functions.

In any case this research and study has helped us to better understand how different areas of our brain function and how they can be affected by a variety of circumstances and situations. For example, brain training can have a great impact on your brain and cognitive abilities. New research has shown that a healthy brain is a fundamental aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

New Developments and Hope Around Brain Injury

The brain is truly an amazing organ and it is responsible for controlling virtually every part of our bodies while at the same processing information and enabling us to respond and experience the world around us. It is a very complex organ. But it is also an extremely sensitive organ that is protected only by our skull. Brain injury can have tremendous and devastating impacts on the way we live our life and function everyday. However recent advances in medical science offer hope to some victims of serious injury. Let’s discuss this further.

As indicated earlier the brain is very susceptible to injury and is very fragile. It is protected from most types of injury because it is surrounded and protected with a hard bony structure called the skull. In addition the brain floats within the skull and is protected from normal movement.

However if the brain suffers a more serious injury, there can be many consequences. A common type of serious injury can occur with a car accident for example. In that case the skull can be impacted or suffer a large blunt force. Other type of accidents is when practicing violent sports where you are not well protected.

The skull can be impacted and even broken. Or in the case of a bullet wound, an object can actually pierce through the skull and enter the brain which can obviously have much more serious conditions (even if a simple accident can be a dramatic event for your brain). But even if the skull is not pierced, serious injury can occur with a blunt force trauma.

In this case the brain can suffer a large force which causes it to impact the inside of the skull. At the point of impact the brain suffers an injury and swells. Since the volume within the skull is fixed, pressure builds on the brain and can cause either further injury.

If the brain becomes damages, it can result in death to certain areas of the brain due to clotted blood vessels which disrupts the supply of blood to critical area. There are also many other kinds of damage which can occur.

The damage to certain areas of the brain can result in many problems. It can result in paralysis of movement or speech. Or there can be significant long term impacts in one’s ability to perform certain mental functions easily like critical thought, language or visual processing.

However recent medical developments offer hope to some victims. There have been a variety of surgical techniques which can help to correct some of the damage suffered from injuries. In addition a number of treatments have been used to help to train other undamaged areas of the brain to take over certain functions that were previously controlled by the damaged sections.

At the same time many of these techniques can take time and a great deal of effort. But there have been some impressive results and scientists and researchers are working very hard to improve the techniques used to help people who are suffering from the effects of brain injury. There are also brain games that you can use to train your cognitive abilities which might have been impacted by the injury. In any case, it is important to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle to try to recover from that injury.

Brain Plasticity Can Help You Keep That Thought

The brain is an amazingly complex yet somewhat resilient organ. A feature called brain plasticity allows the brain to retain information as it learns new things. It can also enable different parts of the brain to perform functions they normally cannot do. Let’s explore this further.

In simple terms, brain plasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change throughout a person’s life. This is a physical process and it is driven by many factors. But repetition plays a very critical role in brain plasticity.

For example when we learn something new, then neural pathways are created to account for this action. If the learned activity gets repeated, more neural pathways can be created which can further help a person to retain and remember this new information.

This type of activity is very much in use with children. A young child has relatively few neural pathways. But as the child is exposed to new things and learns more, he/she creates many new neural pathways which plays a critical role in that child’s ability to learn and remember.

At the same time, as some functions degrade that can be related to a breakdown in neural pathways. So if we forget someone’s name, it may be because some of the neural pathways associated with that memory have become broken or damaged.

But the changes in our brains which can occur through brain plasticity can be either for the better as in the ability to remember things or negative as in a breakdown in neural pathways which can cause a lapse of memory.

The physical process of aging has been associated with a decline in mental functioning. This is due to a breakdown in neural pathways. But recent studies have shown that with the right kind of training, even an older person can apply the process of brain plasticity to reform new neural pathways and improve mental functioning at any age.

It is therefore believed that advanced techniques employing brain plasticity can be used to help people to regain many mental functions which were otherwise thought to be lost. So it need not be a fact that the older a person gets, the more his/her mental processes decline.

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plasticity can also be used to help to retrain certain areas of the brain to perform functions it otherwise is not designed for. Techniques have been used to help people to regain functions which were otherwise lost due to injury or disease of certain areas of the brain.

Employing techniques which take advantage of brain plasticity can be an exciting non surgical alternative to help people to retain their mental functions and even improve upon them no matter what their age. So very exciting breakthroughs are occurring every day and will continue to evolve.

As an example, by constantly brain training, you could really have an impact on your cognition and the quality of your cognitive skills. Brain fitness has been demonstrated to be an important part of a health lifestyle and everyone might want to try to keep their brain healthy the way you would for your body.

Thanks to brain plasticity, we can now help our mind be sharper and healthier over time.

Causes And Symptoms Of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment is known to be a stage in the progression of diseases like dementia. It is often known as the period between normal forgetfulness due to aging and the onset of dementia. Let’s explore this type of impairment in more detail and discuss some options concerning treatment.

People who have mild cognitive impairment my have some problems with thinking and memory functions. They may forget things very easily or become confused or distracted. However these symptoms do not generally impact the person’s day to day activities.

The people who suffer from this often realize that they have disability and they may take extra steps to overcome the impacts. For example if they tend to forget more frequently, they may take more notes to remind them of things they might otherwise forget.

And while this impairment is generally seen as the stage before dementia, not everyone who suffers from this develops dementia. But there are some common symptoms which are associated with mild cognitive impairment. They can include the following.

A person suffering from this may have difficulty focusing on more than one task at a time. While they had been able to multi task previously they find it very difficult to do so any longer. Their concentration ability is affected by this condition and this has an impact for the rest of their cognitive abilities such as their memory as one is linked to the other.

The sufferer may also have difficulty solving problems like mathematical equations or the like. And they may have a difficult time making decisions.

As indicated earlier, a common symptom of mild cognitive impairment is memory loss. They may forget recent events or conversations. It may also take a person longer to complete mental tasks than it used to.

If a person suspects they may be suffering from this, they should seek immediate medical attention. There are a number of diagnostic tests which can be administered to measure the degree to which a person is impacted by this.

However there are a number of techniques and treatments which can help to reduce and alleviate these symptoms. There are a number of drug therapies which show good promise here. And there are many natural supplements which can be taken to help to better nourish the brain and improve its function.

The brain needs exercise just like the rest of our bodies. So there are many drills and exercises which can be implemented to work the brain and improve its mental function. Some of these drills can be used to improve memory function while others are better suited for language development or special skills.

Some of the symptoms of this impairment can be further increased if the person has poor mental health. Depression is a major factor in this impairment so it’s important to try to stay busy, focused and happy. In this way the impacts of mild cognitive impairment can be minimized and the progression can hopefully be slowed significantly allowing the sufferer to lead a much more normal and fulfilling life for many years to come.

Mind Training To Increase Mental Capacity And Function

Many of us take our mental capacity for granted. For many years, scientists all around the world believed that the mental capacity you had when you were born where fixed and that nothing could be done to change them. In the last three decades, enormous progress in neuroscience have challenged this paradigm. Based on the plasticity of the brain, we now understand that the brain can be challenged and change its own particular structure over time.

Our mind can decline with time and the latest studies have shown that as of 45 years old in average, people start to go through it. When we grow older and we are unable to keep us with some of our peers, we can get frustrated. But there are indeed ways to implement mind training tasks which can increase ones mental capacity and effectiveness. Let’s look into this further and discuss some options.

The brain is like other parts of our bodies in that the more we can exercise it, the more responsive and stronger it can become. There have been a number of very effective mind training tasks developed over the years. These tasks very much exercise the mind and challenge it to use its fullest capacity.

So the first thing to do is to find good resources when it comes to mind training techniques. You may wish to consult with your doctor or mental health professional for recommendations. Different techniques may also be available from teaching professionals as well.

These techniques are normally exercises which can be easily implemented either individually or by someone else. In some cases these techniques can also be given to a group of participants as some studies have shown the importance of socialization for brain health.

In any case these tasks and exercises can challenge, measure and help to improve different kinds of mental functions. For example there are some great exercises you can implement to help you to improve your memory. They help your mind to pay closer attention to the inputs and then process, store and retrieve it more effectively.
Other types of mind training activities can assist with language development or spatial skills. These exercises are typically geared for specific age groups. Therefore the same type of memory enhancement exercise developed for an adult would most likely be much different than one for a child.

These tasks can be played directly online. You need to make sure you are using a scientifically validated program so it is truly effective for you.

Techniques are being refined and improved upon all the time as further research uncovers the best way to implement different measuring tools and performance improvement activities. As you go through your training, you should start noticing improvement in your cognition and attention in the first 4 weeks. As in everything, the consistency of your training plays an important role in its effectiveness.

Either way if properly applied, these brain training activities can have a significant role in enhancing mental function and capacity. They can improve the mental functions for a person and help to minimize losses which might otherwise be experienced in the later years of a person’s life.

Memory Games Are A Key Technique to retain good mental acuity

An essential part of how our minds are able to do so many things is our ability to remember information, stimuli, or events. Our ability to take in input, organize it, store it and then retrieve it as necessary allows us to learn new things and experience the world around us in a very positive manner. Most of us want to retain good memory and improve it if possible. Well there are memory games which can do just that. So let’s explore this further.

It has been found that there are many techniques, which can be applied to enhance a person’s memory and other cognitive abilities. One of the best ways to implement these techniques is through the use of what is know referred to serious games. These can be very entertaining while at the same time effective in improving memory.

Memory games are an entertaining and fun way to encourage our brains to provide better focus on information and stimuli in order to properly store and then retrieve it later. It has been found that there are some terrific ways to help people to remember things more effectively. The important point is that those games can challenge you mind and brain to do new activities and stretch you up.

One way is to help people to become really focused on the information as it is being relayed to them. So if you want to remember a person’s name, you can learn to stay focused on that name while it is being communicated. All too often people listen to something with less than full attention. If they don’t put the proper focus on the information, it can be lost very quickly.

So these games can help a person to learn how to put proper focus on information when necessary. Memory can also be enhanced by associating information with other information which is easy to remember. This is common reason why people tend to create passwords for their computers based on their children’s names or pet names.

In any case there are many ways to implement these effective and fun memory games. You can find them at a variety of retail outlets including your neighborhood grocery or drug store. Many of these games are published in small books and make great entertainment.

Different puzzle books are actually effective memory enhancement tools. In addition the Internet provides a wonderful resource to find many effective and fun memory games. If you do a Google search on the topic, you will find a wide variety of websites which offer different kinds of memory games.

Some of them are more appropriate for children; others well suited for adults; and still others ideal for seniors. They can be taken individually or some may work well with partners. The key here is to always make sure you use a scientifically validated program so it can be effective and useful at the same time.

Either way if you are interested in improving your memory and optimizing your mental capacity, you should definitely try some of these memory games. As indicated earlier they are entertaining and effective.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What Causes Memory Loss And What To Do About It

Our ability to remember things including people, events, and even sights, sounds and smells is an essential part of how we process information and interact with the world around us. For those people who experience memory loss, it can be a frustrating and devastating experience. So let’s discuss what can cause memory loss and find out if there are things which can be done about it.

Memory loss is often associated with getting older. As we age, our cells break down and die. As this continues over a long period of time to our brain cells, it can impact many mental functions and other cognitive abilities including memory, attention, perception or motor control.

For many older people, it can relatively minor and show itself as occasional forgetfulness. However in other instances, this memory loss can be the start of a more significant change which can eventually deprive people of their ability to even remember who they are.

And for many years it was accepted that as you age, all your mental functions will decline and especially memory and movement coordination. In addition it was also accepted that there was virtually nothing which could be done about it.

However, recent research and study suggests that this simply is not so. The view that your brain stay fixed throughout your life is antiquated. In reality, the brain can be challenged and exercised. By doing so, it can definitely improve memory function and help stop further memory loss. And in many cases it can actually begin to reverse memory loss and help people to regain much of their previous mental capacities.

There are many effective techniques which can used to help to stop and even reverse memory loss. But first a person must ensure that he/she is taking good care of their brain through the best possible nutrition and brain training. The brain needs to be properly nourished in order to function at its best possible manner.

And be sure to find out about techniques which can challenge the brain and help to improve memory function and other cognitive skills. These techniques may be implemented by a coach or they can be individually taken online.

Some of these techniques come in the form of brain games so they are entertaining and fun. You can find a variety of tasks to play online. Be sure to check into them further but pay special attention to their scientific validation. You want a program that adapts to your need and that is personalized.

Another aspect to help improve memory function has to stay active and involved in things. As people age, they may become more sedate and bored. This lack of involvement in life and less interaction with people, places and things can result in declines in memory and mental function.

So a big part of improving memory is to stay involved, alert and happy. If you do and apply many of the techniques mentioned here, you should be able to at least slow down the progression of memory loss and in many cases actually reverse it.

Dementia And Your Brain Plasticity

Dementia is a difficult medical condition, which can impact many people as they grow older. There are different types of dementia and their impact varies. This is a difficult worldwide problem. As more people continue to grow older, the number of people affected with dementia is only going to rise in the coming years and create a real issue for individuals as well as for the society as a whole. Let’s discuss some of the causes, symptoms and treatments.

In general dementia plays a significant role in memory loss, deterioration of higher-level cognitive functions, language and emotions.

While there are different types of dementia, most cases are degenerative and there is not known cure. Alzheimer’s is a common type of dementia.

Another common form of dementia is called Lewy body disease. It generally affects older people. The disease causes unusual protein structures to grow and develop in different areas of the brain. These protein structures disrupt normal brain functioning and worsen over time.

Vascular dementia is a form of dementia, which is caused by strokes. There are also several medical conditions which can lead to dementia. This includes Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and brain infections such as AIDs or Lyme disease.

There are some kinds of dementia which can be stopped or reversed if identified in the early stages. Brain tumors, changes in blood sugar, excessively high levels of sodium or calcium in the blood, or low vitamin B12 levels can all contribute to dementia symptoms.

However if identified early enough, the symptoms can be reversed with proper treatment.

Dementia is generally regarded as an older person disease. Most people under sixty years of age are not impacted by this problem. But as they age, the risk of developing dementia increases.

In the early stages of dementia, a person may exhibit some forgetfulness. It can then progress to mild cognitive impairment and eventually impaired judgment, emotions or other cognitive skills.

As indicated earlier, there are no known cures for this problem. However there are many techniques which can be applied to minimize the impact and improve a person’s quality of life. For example there are techniques and exercises which stimulate the brain and enhance its mental functions. Those techniques usually leverage the brain plasticity to recreate some new neuronal pathways or challenge inactive parts of the brain.

Over time this can improve things like memory and other cognitive function. You can find many helpful techniques by visiting some websites which focus on this disease. Some of them are set up as games so they can be engrossing and entertaining. Others should be implemented and gauged by others.

It is also important to help to protect the brain and make certain it receives proper nutrients and minerals. A number of natural compounds have been shown to have great benefit in that regard.

More and more effective techniques are being developed all the time so it is important to check out these advances. In this way the impact of the disease can be slowed significantly and allow its sufferers to continue to live a full and robust life in many cases.