Fancy a change? ‘Self-Talk’ is your answer #Mindfulness

We all have things in our lives that we’d like to do better:  exercise more, eat healthier, feel better, have more energy or a better attitude, etc.  In fact, most of us have made New Year’s resolutions along these lines– “I’m going to work out 5 days per week”, “I’m going to read more”, or the countless other things we hope to accomplish or change in our lives.  Yet, so often by January 15 these resolutions are nothing but a distant memory.  Why is this?

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

Meditation Shot2

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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Promising news in the fight against brain cancer, stoking hopes for patients to live longer

Syringe

Researchers are revisiting a vaccine that could extend brain cancer survival by boosting patients’ immune systems to fight cancerous tumors.  The vaccine had undergone a Phase I clinical trial in 2001 but was largely abandoned for lack of efficacy. Now, a new methodology is breathing life back into the treatment’s potential to extend the life of those who suffer from brain cancer.  The team at Thomas Jefferson University is looking to administer the vaccine to patients before chemotherapy, so that their immune systems are less compromised and better able to be directed by the vaccine to attack tumors. Initial results of a more recent Phase I trial are more promising.  Phase II trials are slated to begin in early 2015.

Read More:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141113105421.htm

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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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Patriots QB Tom Brady using brain exercises to stay sharp

Tom Brady

Top professional athletes at the cutting edge of their sports are using brain exercises to stay on top of their game.  Case in point is 37-year old New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has recently brought cognitive exercises into his training regimen.

“I think finding that balance in your brain or in your body is how you optimize your performance. You figure out where deficiencies are. Where you’re out of range, and you exercise to bring yourself back to range so you can continue to do the things you want to do as long as you want. Just because you get older, I’ve said this before, you can sustain peak performance as long as you canYour memory or whatever the things that you need to do to work on, you can sustain those things a lot longer than you realize. I think that’s something that I’ve learned and that I’m going to continue to do as long as I’m here.””

 – Tom Brady, 8.25.14 via profootballtalk.nbcsports.com.

Are YOU doing enough to train your brain?  Fill out this survey to find out, it only takes a moment:  http://goo.gl/forms/IMnKwaUBba

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Read More:  http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/08/25/tom-brady-turns-to-brain-exercises-to-stay-sharp-healthy/