Brain Workouts May Tone Memory
WiredNews: Among people who work with older adults, the concept of “cognitive fitness” has become a buzzword to describe activities that stimulate underutilized areas of the brain and improve memory. Proponents of brain-fitness exercises say such mental conditioning can help prevent or delay memory loss and the onset of other age-related cognitive disorders.
The NECC runs one of a growing number of programs that work with older adults to improve cognitive abilities. Activities include computer programs designed to stimulate specific areas of the brain, replication of geometric designs using boards with pegs and rubber bands, and visual and auditory memory exercises.
Some of the other programs are Maintain Your Brain, initiated a year ago by the Alzheimer’s Association; Mind Alert, run by the American Society on Aging; and other regional programs such as the Center for Healthy Aging in Kent, Ohio. For do-it-yourself types, a plethora of books have been published on getting the brain in shape. Paula Hartman-Stein, a geropsychologist at the Center for Healthy Aging, recommends The Better Brain Book, by David Perlmutter and Carol Colman, and The Memory Bible by Gary Small.
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