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Maximizing brain fitness and mental well-being improves both public health and individual quality of life

Posted Dec 14 2012 12:17pm

 We’re having a good conversation among SharpBrains Summit participants, prompted by the blog post  Lifelong brain wellness and performance–not medical disease–drives growing demand for digital brain health solutions . In what is a beautiful example of the need to see both the forest and the trees , first Prof. Bob Bilder, Co-Director of the NIMH-sponsored Center for Intervention Development and Applied Research (CIDAR) at UCLA, offered this insightful big-picture response:

Interestingly, this trend may also have the positive outcome of *preventing* even more illness, compared to efforts to find cures for illness. For example, a moderate increase in stress-resiliency across a population could reduce by 2/3 the risk of stress-related disease.

Then, another Summit participant, a half-retired serial entrepreneur, offered this first-hand perspective:

I have seen this phenomenon in my own life. For the past 25 years I have been training my brain; meditation, vigorous mental stimulation, physical exercises and for the last 5 years exercising with computerized brain training programs. I self-monitor my emotions and general wellbeing every day. I am 78 years old and like anybody else confronted with the daily ups and down of life. What is very interesting to me is that at this point I do not panic or despair often anymore.…Less stress, more control of your emotions, hence better health.

Quoting William Gibson, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.

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