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4 Exercises To Sharpen Your Brain
Think of your brain as a muscle: It gets stronger with exercise. Your everyday mental tasks are like walking, but how about a real workout? Try these simple exercises to boost your brain power and clear away the fog of forgetfulness.
1. Use your non-dominant hand
Tackling new tasks improves brain capacity in younger people and has a restorative effect on mental faculties that are declining. Boost your brain power right now by performing everyday activities with your non-dominant hand. If you're right-handed, use your left hand to eat, drink, comb your hair, and brush your teeth. Try writing your name with your non-dominant hand or put your mouse pad on the other side of the keyboard.
Aluminum And Alzheimers Disease
Large amounts of aluminum are usually found in the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's. This has led others to think that the disease is caused by using aluminum cooking pots and pans or ingesting oral antacids or antiperspirants containing aluminum.
It's a nice thought but one with no scientific basis. Professor Luigi Amaducci of the Department of Neurologic & Psychiatric Sciences at the University Of Florence said other patients with Alzheimer's don't have aluminum plaques in the brain which rules out this metal as the cause of the disease.
"There has been some concern in recent years that dietary aluminum may lead to Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia in older people. This concern arises from the fact that greater levels of aluminum are found in brain tissue of people dying from Alzheimer's disease than in brain tissue from people dying from other causes," according to Dr. Myron Winick, director of the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in The Columbia Encyclopedia of Nutrition.
Be A Brain Scientist
"To think is to practice brain chemistry." - Deepak Chopra
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, I'm no brain scientist¦"? Quite recently I had lunch with a friend while he was on a break from work. When he ordered a beer I raised my eyebrows in mock astonishment. He replied "It's not like I'm performing brain surgery later."
But we are all brain scientists. Our thoughts really do affect our brain chemistry. And we can be like surgeons in our ability to carefully excise negative thoughts from our gray matter.
Our patterns of thought are simply habits, but they are grounded in rich neural circuitry. Like deer in the woods, our thoughts form paths that will most likely be retread unless we consciously set out to find a new way. The first step to that new way is to be aware that thoughts can either be unconscious or conscious.
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Things To Consider Before Taking Psychoactive MedicationsA lot of older people in America who live alone usually take medications to deal with loneliness. People who are overworked or overstressed, and people who have gone through depression also use these medications which supposedly eliminate the suffering caused by psychological conditions. These medications are called psychoactive medications.
Medications that effect mood or behavior are known as "psychoactive." This includes those medications that are given for non-behavioral reasons. For instance, some of the medications used for high blood pressure, and some medications sold over-the-counter for colds and flu, can be psychoactive for a few of us. Psychoactive medications are drugs that, when prescribed and used prudently, can reduce or eliminate the suffering caused by psychological conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, psychosis, and bipolar affective disorder.
Many people use psychoactive medications, with or without prescriptions, to cope with the problems of their daily lives. However, psychoactive medications should generally prescribed by physicians. One of the most common conditions for which psychoactive medications are prescribed are sleep disorders.
When a person has trouble sleeping, he or she may be experiencing insomnia. Both anxiety and depression can cause insomnia, among many others. When this specific cause is known and treated, the person's sleep patterns generally return to normal. When insomnia gets persistent, sleeping pills may be appropriate. Although a person can sleep while under these medications, the sleep induced by the drug will not be the same as that of natural sleep since the drug suppresses brain activity.
Prescribing psychoactive medications for children and adolescents requires the judgment of a physician, such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, with training and qualifications in the use of these medications in this age group. Certainly, any consideration of such medication in a child or infant below the age of five should be very carefully evaluated by a clinician with special training and experience with this very young age group. Any child or adolescent for whom medication is a consideration requires an evaluation of the psychiatric disorder, including the symptoms, and any other medical conditions, family and psychosocial assessment and school records.
Moreover, rest homes have become a major component of the health care system for frail elderly persons and psychiatric patients. Although psychoactive medications are frequently used in rest homes, there is little detailed information about the extent of such use, its supervision, or its effects. In a survey of a random sample of 55 rest homes in Massachusetts, it was found that 55 percent of the residents were taking at least one psychoactive medication. Antipsychotic medications were being administered to 39 percent; of these, 18 percent were receiving two or more such drugs.
The effects of psychoactive medications vary with their chemical composition, the doses in which they are taken, and the sensitivity of the person taking them. Taking other psychoactive substances in combination with psychoactive medications can be dangerous, especially because some of the interactions among these substances are not well understood.
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