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4 out of 5 People Suffer Brain Injuries June 9, 2007

Posted by edukfun in aging, brain, brain injury, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, focus, general, health, memory loss, mTBI, neuroscience, stress.
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Does it seem like 80% of the people you work with are touched in the head? Eighty percent of people will sustain a brain injury and not get adequate treatment. Think you’re safe just because you don’t skateboard or Rollerblade?

Wrong. Brain injury is an enemy that infiltrates all social classes and cultures.

Most victims will suffer financial, emotional and physical limitations for the rest of their lives. Why is this silent epidemic…well, silent? Unless victims sustain a coma or cannot walk and talk, then the concept of brain injury is casually dismissed by society and the courts.

It is no coincidence that many cases of teenage rebellion coincide with an earlier bump on the head.

The effects of brain injury may not surface in entirety until many months after the injury. Most of us think that unless someone needs stitches, they haven’t sustained a “serious” injury. The scary truth is that a head injury can occur faster than it takes to form a thought or even say a word. Adults are prone to shaken baby syndrome too. There is help and there are signs.

Adults are prone to shaken baby syndrome too.

Try the complimentary 39 Point Learning Assessment to see if you can be set free from brain fog and live in the land of clarity! CDC has published a very helpful guide about what to do if you or a loved one has experienced a head injury.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/tbibook.pdf

Dr Amy Price

Dr Amy Price is a Patient Volunteer & Executive Director
at the Spinal Injury Foundation
http://www.spinalinjuryfoundation.org

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Teach Your Old Brain New Tricks June 7, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in aging, brain, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, health, memory, mTBI, neurogenesis, neuroscience, parents.
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“The brains of adult mammals are slowly, constantly churning out new brain cells,” it said recently in LiveScience. 

Click here for the full article.

That’s right, adult brain cells can definitely keep growing and actually change their structures in response to new experiences.

The growth is much smaller than what goes on during the critical period of development, but the fact that it goes on at all is earth-shattering, “said a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

New research shows these new adult brain cells may actually help old cells adapt to new experiences and be used to rejuvenate our aging brains.

“Young neurons are generated in two areas of the brain: the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb. The hippocampus, in particular, appears almost like a fountain of youth. The new cells produced in the area, said neuroscientist Hongjun Song, make the whole system younger.”

Neurons

New neurons are labeled to show green fluorescence in the adult mouse brain.
Credit: Kurt Sailor, Guo-li Ming and Hongjun Song

Most of us know how fast children learn — much faster than we do (I’m 64). Their brain plasticity is phenomenal. But we adults can continue to adapt to new experiences even though our brains are more hardwired than our children’s brains.

At Sparks of Genius we see this all the time in children as young as six and adults in their eighties. Both young ­and old are capable of new learning.

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist, writes how important new learning is for adults, especially the elderly.   Not any kind of learning but novel, rich and complex learning.

In other words, engage your mind in mentally stimulating activities!

Adult and elderly clients at Sparks of Gemius use a special combination of computer programs to train their brain for more successes in life. They can improve cognitive skills like memory, attention, listening and thinking. The can even increase the central processing speed of their brains.

The Sparks of Genius message to adults and seniors is: “Defy labels. Move beyond limitations decided by others. You can do more than you ever thought you could.”

 Dr. Rohn Kessler

Mental Obesity June 6, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, alternative treatment, art, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain drain, camp, children, cognitive decline, concentration, education, exercise, fitness, health, ld, learning disability, memory, obesity, parenting, parents, school, social skills, sports, summer, underachieve, video games.
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Think of your brain like your body.  What do you feed it each day?  A brain diet high in video games and low in cognitive demands will lead to mental obesity!

The NY Times is reporting that new web sites aimed at children, especially girls, are on the rise. These sites allow kids to chat, Instant Message, Accessorize their cartoon avatars, dress up dolls and play video games.  Sounds like fun, so what’s the problem?

The problem is that your brain is like a muscle–use it or lose it.  Spending an hour or two playing high stimulus, low cognition games (or watching equivalent TV programs, or reading equivalent comic books) is fine IF IT IS PART OF A WELL-BALANCED BRAIN DIET.

What makes a well-balanced brain diet?

Introducing the Brain-Food Pyramid:

  • 1-2 Hours of High-Stimulus, Low-Cognition activities: video games, TV, passive music, chatting with friends, internet surfing.
  • 1-2 Hours of  High-Cognition Activities: reading above grade level, write an essay, playing a musical instrument, peak-performance athletics, planning a big project.
  • 1-2 Hours of Physical Activity: walking, jogging, swimming, unstructured playing, sports, bicycling, etc.
  • 1-2 Hours of Socializing: hanging out with friends and family.
  • 7-10 hours of sleep!

“Kids these days” are packing on 4-14 hours PER DAY of high stimulus activities that require next to zero thinking.  They’re ignoring the other aspects of life, sacrificing social skills and physical health (including sleep) in order to get their next “fix” of almost-free brain stimulus.

Your brain needs exercise every day in order to stay in shape.  Don’t let Barbie take that away!

Good luck,

Allen Dobkin