Brain Health and Exercises.
Date of publishing: 13th Jun 2018
Source: Pfizer Healthcare Ireland
We’re only beginning to understand the complex way our brains work but every year we learn a little more. Here are five incredible things we’ve learned in 2017.
Did you know?
- We don’t lose more brain cells as we get older. New research has shown that we lose just 2 – 4 percent of our neurons as a result of ageing1.
- People with ‘nice’ brains are more likely to experience depression2. Scientists found that those who value economic equality are more likely to be depressed than those who are more selfish.
- Using MRI scans, scientists have shown that the brains of young people who are depressed or experiencing suicidal thoughts are physically different from those with ‘healthy’ brains3.
- Swedish researchers have identified where in the brain Alzheimer’s first appears, which could improve diagnosis and treatment in the future4.
- Addiction to smartphones creates an imbalance in the human brain of young people, with potentially damaging long-term effects5.
Here are 5 daily things you can do to improve your brain power.
- Memory, reasoning and speed-based brain training games have been shown to have reduce the likelihood of developing dementia by 29% in the over 65s6.
- Researchers at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University have found that ‘dual n back’ games - in which people must remember a constantly updating sequence of visual and auditory stimuli – can improve memory by up to 30%7
- Living in ‘enriched environments’ like the countryside, or near forests can improve the health of your brain.8 Taking regular trips can help too.
- Medical News Today recommends using your smartphone to train your brain9. It’s 5 favourite apps are: Lumosity, Elevate, Peak, Fit Brains, and CogniFit.
- Aerobic exercise may be the best training you can do for your brain, with a new study from the USA finding that aerobic exercise helps slow down the age-related decrease in brain size10.
- The British Psychological Society. “Significant loss of neurons is a normal part of ageing” and other brain cell myths. 2017. (Cited 112.2017) Available from: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/12
- Turban, J. Nice Brains finish last. Scientific American. 2017. (Cited 11.12017) Available from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nice-brains-finish-last/
- Adam Just, M. et al. Machine learning of neural representation of suicide and emotion concepts identifies suicidal youth. Nature Human Behaviour. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0234-y
- Lund University. New research shows where in the brain the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s occur. Science Daily. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Availablefrom: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101122427.htm
- Radiological Society of North America. Smartphone addiction creates imbalance in brain, study suggests. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Availablefrom: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171130090041.htm
- Locklear, M. Brain training game linked to lower dementia risk a decade later. New Scientist. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Available from: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2153486-brain- training-game-linked-to-lower-dementia-risk-a-decade-later
- John Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins finds training exercise that boosts brain power. 201 (Cited 11.12.2017) Available from: http://releases.jhu.edu/2017/10/17/johns-hopkins- finds-training-exercise-that-boosts-brain-power/
- Kuhne, S. et al. In search of features that constitute an ‘enriched environment” in humans: Associations between geographical properties and brain structure. Nature. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-12046-7
- Whiteman, H. Five of the best apps to train your brain. Medical News Today. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316684.php
- Cohut, M. Aerobic exercise ‘A maintenance programme for the brain’. Medical News Today. 2017. (Cited 11.12.2017) Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320065.php
Date of Preparation: June 2018