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How to Fight Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease June 27, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in 9-5-4, aging, alternative treatment, Alzheimer's, brain, brain injury, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, focus, medication, meditation, memory, memory loss, mTBI, neurogenesis, neuroscience.
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What’s going to be the disease of my generation? I’m 64 years old, and many say it’s Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists today are beginning to give mice the disease and then take it away. Believe it or not.

A recent New York Times article says that most biotechnology companies, large and small, are developing Alzheimer’s drugs. In the rat race to find a “cure,” these companies are investing billions of dollars to help more than five million Americans with the disease. The Times article notes this industry is “…often criticized as making pricey “me too” drugs that involve minor tweaks to competitors’ products.

Computerized cognitive training is very promising for fighting off Dementia.

Is there anything else in the works that can help adults with mild or moderate cognitive impairment that lead to dementia? Science shows computerized cognitive training is very promising.

Starting early with brain training before the disease progresses may delay onset and increase cognition Dr. Paul Nussbaum, believes that the physiological and psychological aspects of learning in childhood may act as a vaccine against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases of the brain. Link is: http://www.paulnussbaum.com/thhc.pdf

This is based on 1) the discovery of neuroplasticity (the brain is dynamic and constantly or-organizing itself) and 2) the fact that novel, rich, complex learning environments promote healthy changes in the physical structure of the brain.
At Sparks of Genius (www.sparksofgenius.com) adults with labels like “mild cognitive impairment” train their brain for daily successes on home computers and in our office.

Alzheimer’s strikes one out of every 5 people between ages 75 and 84.

We believe that cognitive restructuring can enhance gains bought by new medications as well as natural remedies. Brain training leads to increased confidence, ability and lays in mental strategies to neutralize the fear of decline.

Is Alzheimer’s generation going to be the disease of my generation? Perhaps. Alzheimer’s strikes one out of every 5 people between ages 75 and 84. Five million is projected to be ten or fifteen million in another 40 years.

Where is “the cure” for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases of the brain? I do not believe any “cure” will come from drugs alone; the problem is too multidimensional.

A holistic approach will work best, including exercise, mentally stimulating activities and computerized brain training. For more tips, go to (link is) http://www.paulnussbaum.com/tentips.html

To check out whether you or someone you love can benefit from cognitive restructuring and receive your FREE 39 point Learning Assessment. http://sparksofgenius.com/screens.html

Receive personal feedback from a Sparks of Genius professional today.

-Dr. Rohn Kessler

Video Games as Alternative Therapy June 11, 2007

Posted by schoolsnoop in 9-5-4, add, add parents, adhd, aging, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain, brain injury, camp, children, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, education, ld, learning disability, medication, memory, memory loss, mTBI, neurogenesis, neuroscience, news, parenting, parents, play attention, Sparks of Genius, summer, underachieve, video games.
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A new video game might prove to be a very productive use of time for young cancer patients: It helps kids fight their diseases figuratively and literally.The game, called “Re-mission,” is a 20-level journey through the bodies of fictional patients suffering from different types of cancer, and of course, it can be played by adults and healthy folks as well. But the primary idea is to give patients a sense of control over their disease.

Click here for article.

Children and adults around the world have embraced video games, with both positive and negative results. Here’s another shot in the arm for the folks who see video games as more than just an excuse to stay inside on a sunny day. Sparks of Genius uses video games as alternative therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD), Asperger’s Syndrome, Memory training, to fight off Cognitive Decline, and build any number of Cognitive Skills including executive function.

Click here to check out their new Summer Brain Training Boot Camp!


This article reprinted with permission from Rotten Apples: News from the front lines of America’s War on Education.

Get the Biggest Advantage for Your Child June 4, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, challenged, children, concentration, discipline, distractibility, education, homework, ld, learning disability, medication, parenting, parents, school, social skills, Sparks of Genius, standardized testing, teacher.
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Our nation has shifted its educational focus to standardized testing performance, for good or bad. One result is that parents, schools and districts are all looking for ways to play the system. If a school can massage the numbers just right, they get more funding. If parents can have their child diagnosed ADHD or with a Learning Disability, then the child can get extra time on the FCAT and SAT, which leads to a higher score and better college prospects. Plus, a little Ritalin or Adderall goes a long way. For anyone. Are your children getting lost in the shuffle? We hope to show you a trick or two to make sure that your kid has the best advantages, no matter what gimmicks are used by other parents and schools.

Are the children getting lost in the shuffle?
We hope to show you a trick or two to make sure that your kid has the best advantages, no matter what gimmicks are used by other parents and schools.

The NY Times ran an interesting feature highlighting the advantages in redshirting: keeping a child out of kindergarten until he or she is a little older, as much as a year.

Click here for the full article.

Tool #1: Train your child to think that he or she is the boss.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, we often fight our kids to get them to do their homework. You want to transition your child’s current thinking from the perspective of “Educational Victim” to “Educational Entrepreneur”.

Educational
Victim Entrepreneur
Homework is an imposition Homework is a challenge/tool
Teachers are authority figures Teachers are like employees
I’m never going to use this in real life How can I use this in real life?
No dreams beyond play Big, earth-shaking dreams
High level of concern with appearing smart or cool High level of concern with overcoming challenges
Parents complain about school system Parents participate in school system

The institution of education, whether by accident or design, tends to create Educational Victims. In order to transition your child to thinking like an Educational Entrepreneur, requires adult-to-adult conversation. Your child doesn’t have the tools to change their own attitudes, so you must show them the way. Here’s how you do it.First, fix the “Stinking Thinking.” When you hear your child say things like, “I’m never going to use this in real life”, or “Miss Stinkyfoot is a rotten teacher” or “I hate homework”, take ten minutes and walk through this process. First, ask them exactly what is bothering them. Make them get specific. “He’s a jerk” doesn’t cut it. Once the complaint is out in the open, you must reframe it from the perspective of an Educational Entrepreneur. Here are some common translations.

Translate Stinking Thinking
Stinkin’ Thinkin’ iThoughts
Homework is boring Let’s turn it into a challenge: how much can you finish in 15 minutes (then take a fun break).
Mr. Soandso is mean to me Let’s find a way to make him a friend…just like we would as an adult with a mean employee
I’m never going to use this in real life Sometimes the content isn’t what is important, but mastering the PROCESS is. The best businesses have the best processes, not necessarily the best products.
The subject is boring. Tie the subject in to real life and show how it is important.
I’m bored/hate school. This student is stuck in victim mode. Reframe the school experience so that the child is the boss. Consider that the child may be overwhelmed and need some one-on-one help.
   

To be continued tomorrow.

-Allen Dobkin