Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Keep Those Synapses Snapping Too!

We should also look after our minds while we are treating our bodies, hence the Information on fruit and diet and now cognitive training. 

I am told that Lumosity is excellent; just have not had the time to try engage with it.

You might find this interesting:

High level of evidence for cognitive training

Posted on June 7, 2010
Young woman playing Word Bubbles
A recently published report funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviews the extensive literature on cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in search of factors that might delay or prevent these age-related conditions. Of all the factors reviewed, including diet and dietary supplements, physical exercise, social engagement, and other leisure activities, only cognitive training was found to have a high level of evidence for being associated with a decreased risk of cognitive decline. So, if you want to engage in activities that are known to be associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline, this report says that cognitive training is the only thing that currently fits the bill.
The nearly 800-page manuscript was prepared by the Duke Evidence-based Practice Center for the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This exhaustive report was created to support the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference “Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline.” The conference brought together health experts with specific expertise in aging and age-related changes in cognition to discuss the current state of knowledge related to treatments for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. The report takes a very conservative approach to its evaluation of risk factors and potential treatments for age-related problems of cognition. In fact, only cognitive training was found to have a high degree of evidence for reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Hundreds of studies were reviewed, and while many studies offered evidence that was suggestive of reducing risks, most were correlational, rather than experimental, in nature. For instance, some studies showed a relationship between eating a “Mediterranean diet” and reduced risk of cognitive decline. But these studies typically just ask people about their diet and correlate these factors to cognitive performance. Conversely, there have been several randomized, controlled trials that have shown improved cognitive performance through cognitive training. This higher degree of rigor earned cognitive training the “high degree of evidence” designation in this report.
Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t take care of yourself in other ways. Other factors such as a diet high in vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, physical activity, and some leisure activities were found to be associated with a decreased risk of cognitive decline, albeit with alow level of evidence. In other words, these things are likely good for your brain, but the authors did not feel there was enough evidence to say so definitively. Given that most of these lifestyle factors are good for you in other ways, there’s certainly no harm in eating better, getting more exercise, or spending more time with friends and family. If you want to see how your lifestyle may be affecting your brain health, take our Brain Grade test.
This report is just another reason to make cognitive training — like Lumosity.com — a regular part of your brain health routine.

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