Mild cognitive impairment happens when a person has memory problems, but can still function well in everyday life. Now, there's good news! Doctors say a form of rehab can help these patients train their brains.
Remembering faces, names, where you put your keys; these are struggles for people with mild cognitive impairment.
A study being conducted at Emory University in Atlanta is attempting to improve memory through cognitive rehabilitation.
In one exercise, a therapist asks a series of questions to help the patient learn where an object is placed. The idea is that the patient comes up with a reason that will help them remember the location. Other exercises focus on matching a facial feature with a person's name.
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Playing computer games can slow and even reverse declines in brain function associated with aging, a recent study found. But crossword puzzles, widely believed to keep the brain nimble, didn't help at all.
Fredric Wolinsky, lead researcher for the latest study and a professor at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, said previous studies have demonstrated there are real-world benefits to playing certain computer games, including a reduction in depression symptoms. A study published in 2011 as part of a multi-year, government-funded trial, known as ACTIVE, showed that participants followed for six years had a 50% lower rate of motor-vehicle accidents following cognitive training, said Dr. Wolinsky, who didn’t participate in that research. The study appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Full article: Wall Street Journal
After six months of his brain training regimen, Van Brimer says his overall scores have risen from ranking in the 46th percentile of people his age to the 97th percentile. “I don’t know how closely I can correlate it to business and business performance,” Van Brimer says. “But I can tell you I have to believe it helps.”
He may be right. Van Brimer says he’s always struggled with one mental skill critical to his work: connecting names with faces. After brain training, he went from 48th percentile to 96th percentile on that skill. “I know this is directly improving my performance both in recruiting and business development,” he says. “Training my brain to remember faces better is a game changer in what I do.”
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"IT'S MARVELLOUS, isn't it?" said 82-year-old Phyllis Wielobob as she played an interactive "brain training" game for the first time.
"I don't think I should do anymore, I shall wear myself out," said the widow from Chelmsford, who stopped by at the Making Memories dementia roadshow in Chelmsford's High Chelmer shopping centre on Tuesday, which is encouraging the elderly to stay active in a bid to delay the onset of dementia.
"I have been on my own for 29 years so I do get worried about what would happen if I did suffer from dementia," said Phyllis.
"You get a bit forgetful and you go into a room and wonder why you've gone in there, although I don't worry too much about forgetting little things like that.
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"Many people know the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy, fit body, but not nearly as many people know the importance of cognitive exercise in developing and maintaining an alert, healthy mind.
Lumosity.com, a popular online brain training program developed by neuroscientists, is based on in-depth research of neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. The human brain is constantly rewiring itself and creating new neural pathways with each new experience or novel thought.
Philip Gable is a professor of cognitive neuroscience and introduction to psychology class at The University of Alabama. He explains how repetition of cognitive training exercises can help to strengthen certain areas of the brain based on previous discoveries regarding professional violin players."
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"In a little more than a minute, Nelson Dellis can memorize the exact order of a shuffled deck of playing cards and recite it back to you, flawlessly.
Give him five minutes, and he’ll memorize a string of over 300 digits, again, being able to repeat them without making a mistake.
Dellis isn’t a magician or a member of Mensa—he’s one of the millions of people whose lives have been forever altered by bearing witness to the agonizing decline of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease."
Read the whole article on: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/brain-training-tips-from-a-memory-champion.html
"Working memory relates to intelligence. The reason is that thinking involves streaming into the brain's "thought engine" chunks of information held in working memory. The working memory streams in, much like a Web video streams into your computer. The more you can hold in working memory, the more information the brain has to think with—that is, the smarter it can be.
IQ is not fixed. It improves dramatically in the early school years in all children. Moreover, a recent study shows that both verbal and non-verbal IQ can change (for better or worse) in teenagers."
Read the whole article on: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201203/training-working-memory-why-and-how
"We’ve come a long way in our understanding of the brain and brain functioning in producing the symptoms we call anxiety and depression. In the mental health field we used to think of them as ‘mind’ problems, but now we’ve come to understand that they are also brain problems."
A study conducted by Finnish and Swedish researchers showed that middle-aged coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The Mediterranean diet is a delicious and healthy way to eat. People who eat according to the traditional cuisine of countries like Italy, Greece and Spain, have less small blood vessel damage in the brain than those who follow typical American diets, full of saturated fats, red meat and refined grains.
You can maintain and improve your vibrant brains by adapting some good lifestyle options.
- Never stop learning. Get a new hobby and absorb yourself fully in it. Try to learn a new language. Enroll yourself in a refresher/evening course of your choice. The aim is to challenge your brain with fundamentally new actives. Your brains keep developing through your lifetime no matter how young or old you are. Have goals and aim high. After your brain develops new neurons, it is up to you, where they stay and how long they survive. When you master a new skill, you need to maintain it with practice, if you don’t want to lose in a few years. The options are endless; you only need to take action!
You can significantly improve your memory by following these simple and easy to implement tips.
1. Eat healthy foods
Healthy foods include a lot of fruits and vegetables, as well as fibrous staples, such as whole meal bread and brown rice. Try to eat fish and other sea foods at least 2 to 3 times per week. Fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for keeping your brain power at maximum.
It has been long thought that at a certain age the connections in the brain become fixed. But research has shown that our brains never stop changing and in fact, they will form new connections between neurons when we are learning something new. With learning the internal structure of the existing synapses change, and as we become an expert in a certain field, the area in our brain that deals with that type of skill will grow.