Well my very limited lifestyle might just be healing my brain

Given that I feel like my cognitive impairments caused by years of psychiatric medication are much like an early form of dementia, I took great comfort in the reporting of this story. Especially since I’m a big believer in neuroplasticity.

For middle-aged and older adults, searching the Internet could be a boost to the brain, a new study suggests.

In recent years, several studies have showed a link between pursuing activities that keep the mind engaged, such as crossword puzzles and memory games, and a lowered risk of cognitive decline later in life….

…Keeping your brain active could drive some of these brain chemistry signals in the opposite direction compared to where they go as dementia sets in, and now it looks like surfing the Web could be another way to do that.

Read the rest of the article here. (from MSNBC)

6 thoughts on “Well my very limited lifestyle might just be healing my brain

  1. Good report but, “The study found that less neurotic people were more calm and self-satisfied than their more neurotic counterparts”… isn’t that like saying less neurotic people are less neurotic? Heh.

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  2. I see a new study into dementia has hit the headlines today..

    Positive Outlook Cuts Chances of Dementia

    By Tate Gunnerson
    HealthDay Reporter
    Monday, January 19, 2009; 12:00 AM

    MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) — Sociable people who don’t sweat the small stuff may be more likely to remember the small stuff as they age, suggests new research exploring the link between personality and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Older people who are active, outgoing and relaxed may be less likely to develop dementia,” said study author Hui-Xin Wang, with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

    The study, published in the Jan. 20 issue of Neurology, adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting a link between personality traits, lifestyle and Alzheimer’s disease.

    According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects between 2.4 million and 4.5 million Americans, and that number will increase significantly as the population ages unless the disease can be effectively treated or prevented.

    Researchers questioned 506 older people about their personality traits and lifestyle, to measure their sociability and disposition to stress. After six years, 144 people had developed some sort of dementia, but researchers discovered that calm, more relaxed people, whether they had active social lives or not, were 50 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who had higher levels of neuroticism.

    People who were both calm and outgoing, with active social lives, were also 50 percent less likely to develop dementia.

    The study found that less neurotic people were more calm and self-satisfied than their more neurotic counterparts, while outgoing people tended to be more socially active and optimistic than less extroverted people.

    “Strategies to change lifestyle, such as having an active lifestyle, engagement in different leisure activities, i.e. mental, social and physical activities, or having a rich social network, may protect against dementia,” Wang said.

    I don’t suppose Psychiatrists will like this research one bit since it shakes the very core of their industry.

    The idea that personality and lifestyle can help prevent the development of dementia is obviously dangerous to economic well-being of psychiatry.

    To maintain its vice-like grip on its market share, Psychiatry must convince the world that the notion of “neuroplasticity” is laughable hippy-clap-trap.

    In truth, Psychiatry itself suffers from a deeply engrained mass delusion that the troubled mind is the product of a severe neurobiological brain disorder.

    Where’s your proof, Mister Torrey?

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  3. I am totally thrilled to learn that my favorite time-wasting activity at work and at home is GOOD for me!

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  4. Hello, Gianna.

    This is great. It’s important that the medical world sits up and takes note of the new research into neuroplasticity. Studies have shown that not only is physical and brain exercise just as (or more) effective at reducing the symptoms of depression or maintaining cognitive function it works in a very different and much healthier way.

    If we can reduce stress, inhibit brain aging, correct learning disabilities or ADHD, for instance, with body and brain exercise, why do we need so many drugs?

    (I guess the drug companies probably don’t like this idea!)

    I run a company that publishes brain fitness software. Our primary product uses a training protocol that demands attention (i.e., you can’t do it on auto-pilot) and requires dedicated effort (30 minutes per day) over a period of around 20 days. The result is an increase in fluid intelligence (raw problem-solving ability) of more than 40%.

    That kind of change in the brain is startling and wouldn’t have been believed possible even a year ago.

    The training protocol we use was designed Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl’s for their study on Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory (PNAS April 2008). I was so impressed by their work that I contacted them and turned it into a commercial software program.

    Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro

    Best wishes,
    Martin Walker
    mind evolve, llc
    http://www.mindsparke.com

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  5. I love the idea that web searching has mental health perks. Not that I needed an excuse to do it, but if I did … now I have one. 🙂

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