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Helping Your Brain

Posted 12/29/2015

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  Many of us worry, some of us worry a lot, about our brains and our memories and our general cognitive health. After cancer treatment, chemo brain may be a factor, but there is also normal aging and family history. I know two women who have advanced cancer and a strong family history of Alzheimer's. They both say: "The only good thing about knowing that this cancer is going to kill me, and that I will die before I get Alzheimer's."

  There is much published about brain training and various tricks to keep us sharp (er). A simple tip is to say something aloud--e.g. "I am going to the kitchen to get the scissors." That seems to help us remember the reason for being there. On a much broader scale, there are online programs, some free and some you buy, as well as books to be read about the problem. This article from Medscape bascially debunks these programs and suggests that the lifelong way we live has a lot to do with aging brains. It boils down to the old adage about Use it or lose it. Read, do crossword puzzles, stay social and stay physically active.

  Here is the start and then a link to read more:

Does Online Cognitive Training Work?

Pauline Anderson

Online cognitive training programs promise to boost memory and attention, and they're popping up at a rapid pace. According to one dementia expert, the online cognitive training business has grown from about $200 million annually 6 or 7 years ago to an estimated $2 billion a year today.
But are these companies truly giving patients an edge when it comes to warding off dementia, or are they cashing in on the worried well and an often vulnerable aging population?

Cognitive training is loosely defined as regularly engaging in a cognitive task, for example, learning a list of words, a set of pictures, or a certain route to a particular target.

Online cognitive training programs typically involve buying a monthly or annual subscription that allows users access to various cognitive tasks. These users sit at a computer to do these tasks on a regular basis. They usually have to pay more to get upgraded applications.


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