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Monday, November 19, 2007

Seniors Can Find Mental Fitness Programs at "Sharp Brains"

Mental Fitness Programs are the specialty of "Sharp Brains." A recent post titled "Mental Fitness: 10 Myths Debunked" starts with the myth that it's "in our genes." The article says there is a 35% to 40% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's for people who "lead mentally stimulating lives, through education, occupation and liesure activities."

Another myth is that it is costly to improve our cognitive ability. Every time we learn something new we change the structure of the brain. The article explains there is a "modification, growth or pruning of our neurons, connections called synapses." The physical characteristics of the brain change when we learn new skills, concepts or facts.

The article also says another myth is that crossword puzzles are the best way to improve our cognitive skills as we age. Dr. Daniel Gopher, Professor of Human Factors Engineering at Techion Institute of Science says, "Computer based cognitive trainers are the most effective."

Today the number of seniors using computers continues to grow, and the mental stimulation provides a good workout for the brain. I always encourage seniors who are hesitant about using computers to get involved in a learning program as one way to provide fitness training for the brain.

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