In recent years days, The New York Times has published two excellent articles on brain and cognitive fitness. Despite appearing in separate sections (technology and editorial), the 2 have more in common than immediately meets the eye. Both raise key questions that politicians, health policy makers, business leaders, educators and consumers should pay attention to.
1) First, Exercise Your Brain, or Else You'll ... Uh ..., by Katie Hafner (5/3/08). Some quotes:
- "At the same time frame, boomers are seizing on the mounting body of evidence that suggests that brains contain more plasticity than previously thought, tera gold and many people are taking matters into their own hands, doing brain fitness exercises with similar intensity with which they attack a treadmill."
- "Alvaro Fernandez, whose brain fitness and consulting company, SharpBrains, has a Site focused on brain fitness research. He estimates that in 2007 the market in the usa for so-called neurosoftware was $225 million."
- "Mr. Fernandez noticed that compared with, say, the health and fitness industry, which brings in $16 billion a year in health club memberships alone, the mind fitness software industry is still in the infancy. Yet it is growing at a 50 percent annual rate, he said, and that he expects it to achieve $2 billion by 2015."
- "Boomers believe they've ample reason to fret. There isn't any definitive laboratory test to detect Alzheimer's disease".
Comments: I enjoyed the conversations I had with the NYT reporter, Katie Hafner. The main 3 points I wanted to share were, and therefore are:
a) The mind fitness software packages mentioned within the article (and others) are no a lot more than "tools" to exercise certain brain functions. None of the products on the market today present an overall brain health solution. Some programs are helpful at training specific cognitive skills that tend to decline with age, others improve attention or decision making skills, swtor creditsand still others help assess cognitive functions. If health, education and executives as well as consumers become more acquainted with the progress that cognitive science has made over the last 10-20 years, they'll be capable of making informed decisions about which, if any, tools, might help. This is exactly what "smart people" do: adapt to new environments and employ new tools appropriately - without falling prey with the idea to manufacturers' inflated/ confusing claims, or negating the need for those tools as a general principle.
b) Often, seniors concerned about their memory tend to blame Alzheimer's. This reaction causes anxiety and stress, which harms the brain structurally (by reduction of neurogenesis - the creation of new neurons) and functionally (by reduction of working memory and decision-making abilities). buy tera goldHence, stress management or emotional self-regulation, is usually a necessary cognitive training intervention.
c) The mind fitness market is growing fast and this trend will continue. This is not only a Nintendo-fueled fad. The article reflects this time best.cheap tera gold Area of the market confusion is based on the disconnect between what computerized brain fitness programs can perform (those with increased science in it than Nintendo Brain Age) and what individuals appear to want them to complete. Computerized programs can be an efficient method to exercise and train specific cognitive skills and improve productivity and daily life. Think about them as like the range of equipment in a health club. Should you enter any adverse health club today, you will discover machines for stomach muscles and others for cardio training, biceps, etc. Similarly, there are brain fitness programs to improve auditory processing, others to grow working memory, maintain driving-related skills, etc.