March 13-19 Celebrating Brain Awareness Week – Is Your Social Life Bad for Your Brain?

Happy group of adult friends having fun

 3 Reasons Why Staying Social Matters to Your Thinking

How many friends do you have? Do you rarely see family, go out for the evening or join your community for an event?

You may not realize it, but your social life may just be bad for your brain.

In the immortal words of Bette Midler, “you’ve got to have friends.” Little did the Divine Miss M know that in addition to our souls, she was hitting a high note on brain health as well.

A recent AARP survey found that adults 40 and over with a higher number of social connections report better brain health.
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Dr. Green’s Favorite Brain Workouts

In a recent interview by Bottom Line/Health, our own Dr. Cynthia Green was asked to suggest her best brain workouts. It’s not what most of us think. Crossword puzzles, online classes and other such activities are not necessarily the best for improving memory and preserving overall cognitive function. The latest research reveals that it takes more than quiet puzzle-solving and streaming lectures.

In fact, some activities that we once thought were time wasters may actually help build intellectual capacity and other cognitive functions.  And, the most important steps to keep your brain performing at optimal levels are lifestyle choices.  Brain workouts that include getting aerobic exercise (at least 150 minutes per week), maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking and eating a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables (low in refined sugar and white flour)

However, research now tells us that there is more to a healthy brain workout. 
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February Is Heart Month: Share the Love for the Heart-Brain Connection

February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to once again focus our thoughts on what is without doubt the brain’s favorite valentine, the heart.

Why does heart health matter so much to our intellectual wellness? The relationship between cardiovascular function and our brain health is well established. Numerous studies have shown over and again that the same factors known to impact cardiac health, such as physical activity, weight and stress, also play a significant role in determining dementia risk. The robustness of this relationship is strong and clear, and many of us know that what is good for our heart is good for our brain as well.
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Brain Diet Fads: Fact, Fiction or Fashion?

What You Should Know to “Eat Smart” Now

Dr. Green expert on brain health and diet

When it comes to brain health, it seems nothing is more confusing than advice about what we eat and drink. The media’s obsessional reporting of every new finding on brain diet and memory (no matter how small or obscure the study) merely reflects our own anxieties about how the food on our table may literally turn the tables on our long-term vitality. Strident statements and specific instructions are increasingly made. Yet as a recent editorial in the Neurobiology of Aging journal states, “(s)o far, no nutritional intervention has been proved to be effective in reducing the risk or severity of Alzheimer’s or any dementia.”

 

While some may feel that there is little risk in making such brain diet recommendations regardless, this is not truly the case.
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Dr. Cynthia Green’s 2014 Brain Health Gift Guide

Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be difficult, so we are sharing Dr. Cynthia Green‘s “2014 Brain Healthy Gift Guide” to keep your holidays stress-free. She is always on the look out for cool and fun ways keep you, your family and friends brain healthy, and what better way to celebrate the season than with a gift to boost the brainpower of those on your list? From your boss to your spouse, mom or mom-in-law, kids, grandkids and all those folks in between, each can use a way to maximize their intellectual potential.

Here’s this year’s “top 10” list for brain healthy gifts, plus a few extras for good measure.


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Brain Science from Dr. Cynthia Green

The focus on this month’s brain science report, from Dr. Cynthia Green, features the benefits of keeping busy, both at work and online:

BRAIN SCIENCE: Your Brain @ Work: Challenging Work May Reduce Dementia Risk
German researchers conducting a review of the literature found that a work environment that offers a rich intellectual experience, engagement with others, work with data as well as a high degree of job control may lower risk for dementia later in life. A systematic review of the literature resulted in 17 studies qualifying for inclusion in their analysis. Their findings, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine,suggest that our work environment may play a protective role in brain health.
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Caffeine & Dementia

More Coffee or Tea? Caffeine May Protect Your Brain from Dementia

What: A recent review article in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging showed the potential long-term benefit of caffeine use in lowering dementia risk. Researchers reviewed the existing data to consider the possible benefits of caffeine for reducing dementia risk, as well as the potential mechanisms by which caffeine may work to lower that risk. They found a strong association between regular use of coffee, tea, or other caffeine-containing foods and reduced dementia risk.

Why This Matters: Caffeine has been associated with improved everyday cognitive performance. However, its effect on long-term dementia risk remains unclear, as does the means by which it might reduce that risk.
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“Your Best Brain Ever: A Complete Guide and Workout,” Book Featured By the WSJ

Your Best Brain Ever: A Complete Guide and Workout was selected by the Wall Street Journal in the category of “top guides to life after 50 for 2013.” The WSJ featured books that brought tested strategies and sound advice about how to live healthier, happier lives in the year-and years-ahead.  We are excited to announce that our expert on brain health, Dr. Cynthia Green, is the co-author of of the featured book.

On the topic of Mental Gymnastics they had this to say: And don’t forget to exercise your mind. “Our brain’s health may be the most powerful indicator of how long you will live,” begins Your Best Brain Ever: A Complete Guide and Workout is a research-filled yet highly approachable guide to the scientific why and the practical how of keeping your brain in top shape whatever your age.
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Brain Fitness: Cross Training The Brain

You’ve heard about the value of cross training your body, but what about your brain? SOH brain health expert Dr. Cynthia Green tells us why cross training is also critical to sharper performance and long term brain vitality, and how we can help ourselves and our clients cross train for better brain fitness.

Cross training is both a well-accepted and popular notion in the world of physical fitness. Increasingly, folks are starting to wonder whether the benefits of a cross training approach might not apply to brain training as well.

There is no question that any effective brain wellness program must include cross training.
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5 Brain Health Exercises in 5 Minutes or Less

PUT YOUR BRAIN TO WORK:

Brain health is one of today’s hottest health topics. It seems everyone – from the young professional looking to get ahead, to the frazzled working parent juggling too many balls, to the baby boomer wanting to stay sharp, to the retiree aiming to live life to its fullest without memory loss getting in the way – wants to learn what they can do to maintain their intellectual vitality.

While the science of brain health remains young, the research clearly indicates that there is much we can do to boost our intellectual skills and potentially stave off serious memory loss.
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