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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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What Has Been Happening On Alzheimers Research"All in all, we are faced obviously with a peculiar disease process," physician Alois Alzheimer wrote in 1901. After performing an autopsy on one of his patients, the German doctor concluded that the memory loss, disorientation, impaired speech and delusions were caused by brain shrinkage, widespread dead cells and protein deposits. He began to learn more about Alzheimers, but just fifteen years later, Alois Alzheimer died, never knowing that a whole branch of Alzheimers research would develop based on his work.
Some of the newest Alzheimers research has focused on brain cell connectors. A new study done by Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine found a connection between signs of Alzheimers and a brain protein called kalirin-7. "We already knew that kalirin controlled the synapses," lab researcher Peter Penzes explains.
"But now we understand how it works and that it could be responsible for memory storage. Kalirin acts like a volume dial, making the synapses stronger. This suggests that a drug that would stimulate kalirin could improve memory or delay the progression of memory loss." The next step in this Alzheimers brain research is, of course, human clinical trials.
A British Alzheimers research study suggests that Hormone Replacement Therapy may protect against memory loss in women. "It's further evidence that the brain systems that are involved in dementia are adversely affected by loss of ovarian function," claimed head of research Dr Michael Craig.
"There may be a critical window of time around the menopause stage when HRT may have a beneficial effect in protecting against Alzheimers and dementia," he added. However, some American studies found that HRT may actually increase the risk of Alzheimers symptoms, Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease, suggesting another stalemate.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, warned: "This is not conclusive evidence and women are not advised to start HRT specifically to protect against dementia since it can have side-effects and possibly increase the risk of stroke."
While there has been no definitive Alzheimers prevention found by research, doctors say that exercise, which raises your heart rate for at least 30 minutes several times per week diminishes your risk of Alzheimers. In animal experiments at the University of Chicago, they found that signs of Alzheimers were less visible in mice that had frequent exercise.
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