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Maintain Your Brain and Stay Sharp: An Upcoming Guide and Resource

Posted Apr 24 2009 12:00am

You may be reading all about brain fitness and brain training. It seems every week brings a new barrage of articles and studies which often contradict what you read the month before: Does Gingko Biloba help delay Alzheimer’s Disease? Can physical exercise help you stay sharp as you age? Which computer-based “brain fitness programs”, if any, are worth your money?

All this coverage reflects very exciting scientific findings but also poses a key dilemma: How to become an informed lifelong learner and consumer when there are few and contradictory authoritative guidelines?

The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (to be published in May 2009; $24.95) aims to fill that void. This guide is the result of over a year of extensive research including more than a hundred interviews with scientists, professionals and consumers, and a deep literature review. Below you have some of the main findings from our effort. The guide not only covers these aspects in more depth and offers practical guidance, but also includes 18 interviews with prominent scientists to help you understand the research better.

Can we introduce you to your Brain?

The Guide will start at the obvious starting point: The Human Brain. In order to make informed decisions about brain health, one needs to first understand the basic organization of the human brain and how it tends to change as we get older.

• The brain is composed of a number of regions serving distinct functions. Forget IQ: our life and productivity depend on a variety of brain functions, not just one.

• There is nothing inherently fixed in the trajectory of how brain functions evolve as we age. Your lifestyle, actions, and even thoughts, do matter.

The 4 Pillars of Brain Maintenance

Neuroplasticity is the lifelong capacity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. The latest scientific research shows that specific lifestyles and actions can, no matter our age, improve the health and level of functioning of our brains.

What factors seem to have the most influence?

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