You take care about your body… but what about your brain?

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Want to look younger? Research says to start with your diet

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While behavioral factors such as avoiding sun exposure, getting adequate sleep and not smoking are crucial to your skin’s health, there is a a tremendous opportunity to improve your skin’s appearance and quality with a healthy diet, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).  The AAD says that diets high in fiber, lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables can lead to healthier skin.

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Excuse me? Improve your hearing in the face of distractions, says new study

Ear
Did you know it was possible to improve your hearing in a noisy environment?  A new study from researchers at UCSF shows that, by training our brains and hearing, we can actually improve our hearing in the face of distractions.  The UCSF team developed a training technique for individuals to suppress distracting sounds.  Over the course of the study, as subjects trained with this technique, their ability to hear and distinguish sounds in the face of distractions showed significant improvement.

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Increase brain health, alertness and relaxation by writing in cursive

Cursive Writing

The numerous requirements of writing in cursive can positively impact brain health in many ways.  By stimulating both sides of the brain simultaneously, requiring dexterity and triggering norepenephrine (responsible for attention), cursive writing can help your brain’s health in ways that printed writing and typing cannot.

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Meditate to Both Reduce Anxiety and to Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

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A recent study by Dr. Linda Mah shows that higher levels of anxiety in study subjects were associated with a greater prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  This raises the question of whether reducing anxiety could prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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Do Brain Exercises Help Prevent Dementia?

Rodin Thinker

While more evidence is needed, there are signs that brain exercises and learning new skills can help prevent dementia.  Recent data, such as the ACTIVE study (with ~2,800 patients aged 65+) show cognitive benefits lasting up to 5 years for seniors engaged in brain exercises, with reports of these gains translating more broadly into their everyday lives.  Other studies have shown that before symptoms appear, seniors can reduce the risk or even prevent dementia by keeping mentally active and learning new skills.  These should be new skills and activities that help you to learn new things– crossword puzzles, sudoku and reading books from your favorite author aren’t necessarily enough.  New forms of exercise, dance, learning musical instruments or a new foreign language can help slow the erosion of brain cells and create new neural connections, which can reduce or prevent dementia.  In addition to the positive health benefits, each of these activities can help you live a more full and rich life.

Read More:  http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/preventing-dementia-brain-exercises

 

Were you aware that learning new skills and keeping your mind active could prevent dementia and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Indian spice turmeric shows promise in brain cell growth

turmeric

Recent studies on a key compound in Indian spice turmeric show encouraging results for brain health.  Specifically, the studies examine turmeric’s impact on neutral stem cells (NSC) in rats, potentially opening the door to trials on humans in the future.  The results show turmeric promoting up to 80% growth in NSC count, which could promote both neuron growth as well as prevent inflammation in the brain.  If replicated in humans, these factors could help in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases.

Lead author of the study, Adele Rueger, said: “While several substances have been described to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain, fewer drugs additionally promote the differentiation of stem cells into neurons, which constitutes a major goal in regenerative medicine. Our findings on aromatic turmerone take us one step closer to achieving this goal.”

Read More:  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-09/bc-tcb092314.php

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