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Flinn Foundation bioscience winners range from bug zappers to brain games – East Valley Tribune

What does a bug zapper and a brain game have in common?

The Flinn Foundation, a private philanthropic organization, recently announced its seven early-stage bioscience award winners. The foundation will provide $30,000 each in funding support and program services to help these companies grow as part of the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.

Heres a look at two of the award winners:

Phoenix Interface Technologies

Tempe-based Phoenix Interface Technologies has created a way to help eliminate disease-spreading and crop-damaging insects while sparing the beneficial ones.

The Solar Rid device is essentially a modern-day bug zapper. It uses five sensory outputs such as sound, smell and sight to attract specific insects like mosquitos, corn earworms and navel orangeworms.

The device runs on solar power. Creator Tom Brown said the machine may help decrease the amount of pesticides sprayed on crops.

Just think of the advantages instead of spraying these poisons across this whole wide area, you can have the insects come to you, then youre only killing in this little tiny spot, instead of spraying deadly stuff across acres and acres and acres, Brown said.

Officials with Maricopa Countys vector control department, which sprays for insects, said they only use about 1 teaspoon of pesticide per acre to keep mosquitos and other insects from harming crops and spreading disease.

The Solar Rid device can attract and kill bugs in a 10-acre area, Brown said.

Biosensing Instrument

This Tempe-based company designs instruments to analyze molecular interactions based on Surface Plasmon Resonance, a technique used across the life sciences and nanotechnology applications, according to the release.

Its latest invention, the SPRm 200, is a solution of Surface Plasmon Resonance Microscopy (SPRM) which combines optical microscopy and Surface Plasmon Resonance Technologies in one instrument.

According to the site, it is the only scientific solution in the market that enables label free in vitro measurement of binding reactions and kinetics of individual cells in their native environment and in real time.

Since 2014, the Flinn Foundation has allocated $645,000 in grants to local nonprofits to provide funding and services to 22 bioscience firms, according to a news release.

This years other winners include:

SMART Brain Aging: This Scottsdale-based company offers online courses for clients looking to find help outside the clinic and get in some extra activity.

BMSEED: This Phoenix-based company, which stands for BioMedical Sustainable Elastic Electronic Devices, uses stretchable gold films for its products, which have biomedical applications, including those that require soft and stretchable solutions like cells, tissue or skin.

Iron Horse Diagnostics: This Scottsdale-based company is developing a diagnostic test to rapidly determine if a patient has Lou Gehrigs disease. The firm also is working on a test to detect and monitor brain injury and concussion.

Poba Medical: This Flagstaff-based medical device company provides engineering expertise in thermoplastic balloons.

Reglagene: This Tucson-based startup uses DNA quadruplex science to regulate genes as part of the drug-discovery process, according to the release.

Times staff writer Gabriella Del Rio contributed to this article.

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Flinn Foundation bioscience winners range from bug zappers to brain games – East Valley Tribune

Five of the Best Brain Game apps – Blast

Once upon a time, computer gaming was simply sitting in front of a computer or television and playing a PC or video console game. However, now we are 17 years into the 21st century and the gaming industry has exploded in terms of both popularity and revenue. The popularity of gaming has meant that game developers have been given time and lots of money to develop a variety of wonderful games. Role playing games, shooters, strategy, simulators, these are just a few of the kind of games that developers are offering modern day gamers.

The 21st century has also witnessed the rise of esports the hugely entertaining spectator sport. Popular games such as League of Legends, FIFA 17 and Call of Duty all have their own esports scenes. Hitherto, gaming has become such a large part of modern day society that the International Olympic Committee are discussing making esports a medal event in the 2024 Olympics in order to attract a younger generation of viewers.

Modern gaming also provides the gamer with health benefits. A variety of games offer the gamer benefits including; greater numerical skills, increased logic skills, an enhancement in reflexes and superior reasoning skills. Indeed, there are also now a variety of brain training games; games which have been created in order to improve mental skills such as; reasoning, logic, memory, attention to detail and flexibility, speed of processing and problem solving. Some brain training games have even claimed to help stave off the effects of Alzheimers although this has never been proven.

These brain games are usually free to download and can be played on your smartphone. Theyre great fun and easy to use. Most of the apps record your records over time and show you where you need to improve and what parts of the brain training you are best at.

So without further ado, here are five of the best brain games.

Luminosity

Probably one of the most popular brain training games, Luminosity has a large library of brain training games for the user to choose from. Different sections include; Speed Match, Robot Factory, Word Bubbles and the popular Trains of Thought. Luminosity provides the user with an overview of his or her stats over time. Every time you complete an exercise, Luminosity records your scores and puts them into a data bank. The five categories the app records you on are; speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem solving. The app will also ask you your mood and how many hours of sleep you had the night before. It will then compare this data and display to you how many hours of sleep you need and what mood you are in when youre at your best. You can also compare your own scores with other users from around the world

Positive Activity Jackpot

The Positive Activity Jackpot (PAJ) was designed in America to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for veterans returning home from wars. But the app also helps treat users with anxiety, depression and those at risk of suicide. The app helps people who have difficulty doing everyday things such as meeting new people. The app uses an interactive on arm bandit to find local things to do ranging from outdoor activities to road trips, exercise and shopping based on the phone users location. For anyone struggling to get themselves out of the house or out of bed in the morning, PAJ is a great tool to get the user back on his or her feet. The app also lets the user invite friends from their contact list to join in. The one arm bandit will show you what it recommends you do today but if you dont like what it suggests you simply have to pull the lever and let the apps jackpot function make the choice.

Personal Zen

An app that promises to reduce stress in 25 minutes. Zen App is said to reduce stress and anxiety by way of a simple game played a few times every week. The app was first developed by a team of neuroscientists and mobile developers and offers users attention-bias modification training. This training has been proven to reduce stress by a scientific study. The game itself seems pretty strange youre shown a grassy field. Two blue faces appear briefly one happy and one angry, they then bury themselves in the grass. A line of taller grass then spurts out from where the happy face dug its whole and your job is to quickly trace that line with your finger. This is literally all the game is. The app recommends to play the game for 15-30 minutes, although many struggle to play any more than 10 minutes due to its repetitiveness, this is all about calming the brain and not becoming agitated. Can you last over 10 minutes? Download the app here.

Buddhify 2

My personal favourite, Buddhify 2 is an app that teaches mindfulness-based meditation through a number of guided lessons. The app includes guided meditation tracks that the user can listen to depending on what he or she is doing. The app will ask you what youre doing. This could be anything from having a walk to working online or just waking up. Each lesson ranges from 5 to 20 minutes so theyre easy to incorporate into your day even if youre working a 9-5 job. Lessons are conducted by a majority of different teachers, all with calming, soothing voices. For anyone wanting to get into meditation, this app is an excellent tool.

Happify

With this app you can actually train your brain to be happier. Research suggests that some activities help build up your ability to combat stress and negative thoughts. According to the apps website, 86% of frequent users get happier within two months. The great Aristotle once said happiness depends upon ourselves. The app uses the fundamentals of positive psychology and encourages the user to take part in small activities and write things down. Essentially, it encourages the user to feel and really come to terms with his or her feelings and thoughts.

All of these apps are useful there is no denying that. But there are so many brain train type apps on the market, so it can be hard to choose one. On the other hand, since there are so many, you should try out as many as possible until you find one that you really love.

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Five of the Best Brain Game apps – Blast

This Is The Only Type Of Brain Training That Works, According To Science – Fast Company

There are dozens of apps and online courses that claim their brain training can make you more mentally agile, but theres usually little scientific evidence to back up those claims. While the FDA does approve certain brain training programs aimed to treat specific medical disorders, such as Alzheimers, and the FTC goes after false advertising claimsas it did when Lumonsity made claims not supported by sciencetheres also no industry body that certifies brain training programs, which is a problem for both the field and consumers, according to Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science.

Right now, theres no group that specifically reviews brain training programs and says based on the science, these ones have been shown to work in these ways, and these other ones have not been shown to work, says Mahncke. It would be very helpful to people to have this kind of resourceits challenging for a lay person to wade through the hundreds of scientific papers and figure out which brain training programs are evidence-based and which arent.

Thats why a group of Australian scientists undertook a systematicreview of what studies have been published of commercially available brain training programs in an attempt to give consumers and doctors credible information on which brain training programs are actually scientifically proved to workif any. Unfortunately, of the 18 different computerized brain training programs marketed to healthy older adults that were studied, 11 had no peer reviewed published evidence of their efficacy and of the seven that did, only two of those had multiple studies, including at least one study of high qualityBrainHQ and Cognifit. And of those, just one had multiple high-quality studies: Mahnckes BrainHQ program.

That study, along with other similar ones, shows that most brain training only make you better at the exercises themselves, and dont carry those gains over to your real-world concentration, productivity, or mental acuity.

But there is good news. Science does show that some brain training programs do work. So which ones? As the Australian study showed, Mahnckes BrainHQ and competitor Cognifit actually do have a real benefit. Because both are based on brain training that is focused on improving processing speedthe speed and accuracy with which the brain processes information. Mahncke says this type of training focuses on the visual system: You see an image in the center of your visionfor example, either a car or a truckand at the same time, you see another image way off in your peripheral vision. The images are only on the screen for a brief period of timewell under a second. You then have to say whether you saw the car or the truck in the center of your vision, and then you have to show where you saw the image in your peripheral vision. This challenges the speed and the accuracy of your visual system. And as you get faster and more accurate, the speed increases and the peripheral vision task gets more demandingpushing your brain further.

As your visual system is continually challenged by these specific tests, your brain will adapt through a process known as neuroplasticity. At its core purpose, the brain wants to resolve things. It is constantly moving from the particular to the big picture and back again, Mahncke says. As the brain works to put the big picture together it goes through neuroplastic changes in order to do so (neuro = brain, and plastic = the ability to undergo structural changes).

These plasticity-based changes actually form new neuropathways in your brainliterally changing its shape. The new neuropathways can then be called upon to help you process stimuli beyond just the specific methods used in the brain training exercises. This is why brain training that results in neuroplastic changes works much better than simple memory brain training games, which may help you remember where, for example, the red card is hidden, but wont help you remember the details from that last meeting with your client.

We know that the brain is more plastic when brain chemicals are activated, so the design of these exercises also incorporates attentional demands, novelty, and rewards to activate those chemicals and drive the chemical and physical change that produce the better functional results, says Mahncke. Those brain chemicals also impact mood and learning rates. If you think about it, what you do, pretty much every waking moment, should be positively affected by a faster and more accurate brain.

The result, as the science has shown, says Mahncke, is that people who undertake plasticity-based brain training programs notice feeling sharper, quicker, and more able to notice the important details of everyday lifelike what someone says in a noisy restaurant, or whats happening at the edge of your peripheral vision, or what all seven digits of that phone number were.

But what if you dont feel like undertaking scientifically proven brain training programs like BrainHQ and Cognifit? Mahncke says that you can prime your brain for and spur it into plastic changes by challenging yourself in everyday life. Here are his four tips how to do that:

Just doing the same old stimulating thing over and over again doesnt challenge the brain to rewire itself, Mahncke says. If youve been doing crossword puzzles for 10 years, pick something newand really differentand work at it 2-3 hours per week, even though it will be hard. My mom started harpsichord lessonsand practiced a lot! It was great for her brain: the speed and accuracy of listening and finger movements are a good form of brain exerciseand everyone in my family enjoyed having music in the house!

Dont want to switch up your hobbies or learn a new musical instrument? No problem, just get out there and travel. Travel is a great way to challenge your brain to learn and changeeverything from buying a loaf of bread to finding your way home is new and different. But if you cant afford to jet to Italy as a form of brain training, then take new paths in your own neighborhood, Mahncke says. Find a new way to the grocery store, or the long way to your favorite park. Focus on noticing new landmarks, different sounds (and smells?) and putting together and more detailed mental map of your own neighborhood. As soon as a route gets familiar, find a new oneevery few days. This engages your brains hippocampusthe seat of learning and memory.

Finally, dont forget your body. The National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine recently reviewed the data and suggested three things as supported by scientific evidencebrain training (from ACTIVE specificallynot just brain games), physical exercise, and maintaining healthy blood pressure in middle age, says Mahncke. In other words, its going to be harder to maintain a sharp brain if your body is diverting its energy to fighting other elements in your body, like high blood pressure. So avoid consuming too much salt and get out there for a walk or a runand if you want to work in exercise and brain training in one go, adjust your runs every few days to let your brain discover new paths and routes around your home.

We are at the beginning of a paradigm shift in how we think about brain health. As with any major paradigm shift in science, things may seem confusing for a while. Headlines will scream about some major breakthroughs in cognitive performance from plasticity-based brain training. This will seem to be followed within the month by headlines screaming about some other study seemingly showing the opposite. In fact, what you are experiencing is scientists rather messily trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, says Mahncke.

Some brain training has been repeatedly shown to work. If you sort through it, youll find that is a plasticity-based brain, training developed by knowledgeable and reputable experts. Other brain games have been rushed to market to make a buck, and will fail in serious trials. Its important to realize that not all brain training is the same. Look for products designed by real experts and subjected to peer-reviewed studies, and be wary of those that spend more money on advertising than on research.

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This Is The Only Type Of Brain Training That Works, According To Science – Fast Company

FSU institute contributes to Global Council on Brain Health recommendations – Florida State News

Neil Charness, FSU William G. Chase Professor of Psychology

Florida State Universitys Institute for Successful Longevity was among a number of scientific sources the Global Council on Brain Health relied upon in drafting its new recommendations on enhancing brain health.

In its release of the recommendations, the council, established by AARP and the British organization Age UK, also weighed in on the question of whether brain-training games and software can lead to general improvement in cognition. In a consensus statement released by AARP, the council asserted, There is insufficient evidence that getting better at brain games will improve peoples overall functioning in everyday life.

The consensus statement is consistent with findings reached by institutes director, Neil Charness, and ISL Faculty Affiliate Walter Boot in their critical analyses of existing research.

Charness, FSUs William G. Chase Professor of Psychology, was one of 13 scientists who formulated the recommendations for the Global Council on Brain Health.

These recommendations can be used by individuals, caregivers and health professionals to guide their decisions on what activities and practices can enhance brain health, Charness said.

Based on the scientific evidence, the Global Council on Brain Health concluded that:

These recommendations are strongly supported by scientific research, Charness said.

The council suggested an array of cognitive stimulating activities. It encouraged individuals to:

We want people to find activities that work for them and make those activities a part of their daily lives, Charness said. Brain games can be fun, and it is OK to play the games, but people need to do other activities that research shows make a difference in brain health.

Such activities include pursuing new hobbies and developing new skills. The global council also recommended returning to activities from ones earlier years, such as playing a musical instrument.

Physical activity is equally important, Charness said. If people do nothing else, they should get regular aerobic exercise. It is good for the brain, as well as for general health.

The full recommendations of the Global Council on Brain Health can be found at http://www.globalcouncilonbrainhealth.org.

FSUs Institute for Successful Longevity conducts research into how to live longer, stay active and be fully engaged in life. You can learn more about the institute at http://www.isl.fsu.edu.

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FSU institute contributes to Global Council on Brain Health recommendations – Florida State News

Online Applications Could Make Traditional Resumes, Cover Letters A Thing Of The Past – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Texting and playing games on your phone might just be the path to a new job.

As CBS2s Dana Tyler reports, resumes are starting to take a back seat to the latest in online applications.

Meg Nicol is two years out of college and has yet to gain much job experience.

We have a lot to offer companies but its hard when our resumes are so thin, she said. Being able to show someone your raw skills and your raw talent in a very quantitative way is important.

Nicol showed off her potential by playing games on her phone and landed a new job.

Its a way to get at key abilities you might not notice, or be hard to measure, Criteria Corp. CEO Josh Millet said.

Criteria Corp. is a pre-employment testing company. It recently launched Job Flare, an app that uses six different 90 second brain games for candidate assessment.

The games are measuring things like attention to detail, problem solving, critical thinking, and some jobs require quantitative skills as well, Millet said.

Millet says resumes and interviews arent always the best indicator of the person and their real qualifications.

An objective environment where youre judged on your abilities is much fairer to the applicant and its more fun, Millet said.

Launch Pad is another games based application process.

A resume and cover letter, theyre stale, Job Search Ketchum intern Riis Massey-Williams said. On Launch Pad, you can be as vibrant as possible.

The app is used by summer interns at a New York public relations agency.

They introduce themselves in 140 characters, they create a game name and they respond to two fictitious client challenges, Michele Lanza from Ketchum KPIX Job Search Trends said.

Lanza adds this new program allows a broader selection of people a better chance at a coveted position.

It forces people to put more energy into a job application, especially as a student, intern Jade Song said.

At Ladders, a firm that matches professionals with recruiters, CEO Marc Cendella says games boost a candidates profile.

Assessment tests that can accurately and effectively assess the ability of a candidate to do a job are welcome, he said. Theyre welcome in the workforce, theyre welcome in the interview process.

But experts say dont get rid of your resume just yet. Some games will just get you an interview. Youll still need a solid presentation on paper and in person to land the job youre after.

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Online Applications Could Make Traditional Resumes, Cover Letters A Thing Of The Past – CBS New York

Are Prescription Video Games The Next Frontier In Medicine? – BOSS Magazine

The healthcare sector continues making significant advancements, but could the next one be through video games?

According to a new study from the University of California, San Franciscos (UCSF) Neuroscape lab, this unlikely source may be the healthcare sectors next frontier.

Neuroscape Lab

For over a decade, the team at Neuroscape lab has tested video games in hopes of developing supportive methods to treat mood disorders like depression and brain disorders such as Alzheimers disease, ADHD, autism, and others.

Adam Gazzaley, Director at Neuroscape Lab, and his team believe concentrated doses of video games can improve multitasking and memory issues. Additionally, they think schools should use video games to assist children with ADHD.

Gazzaley further suggests that first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty have shown to benefit high cognitive abilities, such as multitasking and focusing for long stretches of time.

There are two ways for people to take back control: modifying behavior or enhancing the brain, said Gazzaley.

Which is why the Neuroscape Lab has partnered with Boston-based tech company Akili to bring their studies to fruition.

Neuroscape Labs Project: EVO

Together, Neuroscape Lab and Akili have developed Project: EVO, a mobile game that could be used someday as a prescription video game for children with ADHD.

The two are seeking to validate the game so it can stand out from other brain-training companies. To do so, Project: EVO must go through the process of being FDA approved.

The project has recently entered the clinical trial phase, which typically lasts one to four years, with only 25 to 30 percent moving onto the final stage.

So while Project: EVO has gotten far, it still has a way to go.

If the does FDA approve the game, it will lead to the U.S.s first ever prescription video game. Moreover, the approval will also bring forth a new and innovative method of treatment: digital medicine.

In addition to this particular game, Neuroscape is working on more video games. One is called Body Brain Trainer, and the other is a still in-development video game called Labyrinth, involving an HTC Vive and a Virtuix Omni platform.

The Pushback and Support

As expected with any innovative development, the concept of video games being medically beneficial has received criticism.

In 2014, a group of 69 scientists and researchers published an open letter in opposition of brain-training video games.

We object to the claim that brain games offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline when there is no compelling scientific evidence to date that they do, said the open letter.

Additionally, Alan Smithers, Director of the Center for Education at the University of Buckingham, disagrees with Gazzaleys studies.

The effectiveness of these studies needs to be judged with some care, said Smithers. He believes the studies are not definitive and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Interestingly, a group of 120 scientists and researchers issued a dissentin response to the group that stood in oppositionwhere they pointed out that a substantial and growing body of evidence shows that certain cognitive-training regimens can significantly improve cognitive function.

Matt Omernick, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Akili, also spoke about the growing body of evidence mentioned in the dissent.

I think its just that the evidence hasnt been clearly shown yet and thats what were trying to do here, he explained.

Similar Tech Already In Use

While brain-training video games may be a novel concept, it is not the only form in which technology has crept its way into the healthcare sector.

For years now, medical schools have used virtual reality simulators to train their students. This use of technology has become so prominent it is seen as essential to the training process.

This center supplements the hands-on training our students receive during supervised direct patient care and provides a safe environment where they can develop advanced skills critical to starting residency training, said Heidi Chumley, MD, MBA, Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC).

AUC just celebrated the opening of their new 6,800 square-foot simulation and education center, which employs virtual reality to enhance surgical skills and simulates operating room scenarios as well as patient meetings.

Technology is also currently under development to help simulate the sense of touch during surgeries.

To be able to feel the tissue and the way the instruments feel in your hand would ultimately be the holy grail of what we want to accomplish, said Dr. Brian Gantwerker, MD, Medical Advisor at Level Ex.

And for simulating a disaster, its much better to have a problem in the virtual world and learn how to manage it. This adds a layer of safety and space to learn an instrument.

Here To Stay

The team at Neuroscape is well aware of the controversy surrounding their work with video games and maintain that their efforts stand apart.

Neuroscape tries to reach beyond gamified exercises and create engaging and immersive video game experiences. We are increasingly integrating both cognitive challenges and physical movement, said Gazzaley.

According to The Verges Lauren Goode, they were not far off. Goode reported that the physically challenging video games she tested out were markedly different from just sitting at a computer screen.

Gazzaley remains hopeful that these video games will impact peoples lives positively.

If these games could be used to improve the functions of the brain, we could make a big difference, he said.

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Are Prescription Video Games The Next Frontier In Medicine? – BOSS Magazine

Yoga May Boost Aging Brains – Carlisle Sentinel

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Older women who practice yoga may have greater “thickness” in areas of the brain involved in memory and attention, a small study suggests.

Researchers found that even compared with other healthy, active women their age, yoga practitioners typically had greater cortical thickness in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex.

That could be good news because, as the researchers pointed out, cognitive impairment from aging is usually associated with less volume in cortical areas of the brain associated with attention tasks, and decreases in memory.

But experts said it’s not clear what conclusions can be drawn from the study’s findings.

The findings are based on one-time brain scans of fewer than 50 women — and they do not prove that yoga, itself, altered anyone’s brain structure, according to senior researcher Elisa Kozasa.

The brain differences might have existed before the women ever tried yoga, said Kozasa, a researcher at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

But the study does add to a bigger body of evidence on yoga and brain function, said Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a researcher who was not involved in the work.

“This contributes to the evidence that yoga practice has neuroplastic effects on the brain that may translate into other health benefits — like better mood and cognition,” said Lavretsky, a professor-in-residence of psychiatry at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

“Neuroplasticity” refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and form new connections among cells over the course of a lifetime.

In her own research, Lavretsky has found some evidence that yoga benefits older adults’ brain function.

In a recent pilot study, her team tested the effects of weekly yoga classes among 25 older adults who were showing early signs of memory problems. The participants were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of yoga — which included some movement, breathing practices and meditation — or 12 weeks of “brain games.”

In the end, both groups were doing a little better on standard memory tests, compared with the study’s outset. But the yoga group showed a bigger change.

According to Lavretsky, it’s possible that yoga benefits the brain over time by easing day-to-day stress. Or, she said, yoga practices might have a more direct effect on “brain fitness.”

Kozasa pointed out that yoga involves a “cognitive component,” where practitioners hone their ability to concentrate while consciously holding poses, performing breathing exercises and meditating.

Her team was interested in whether long-time practitioners actually show a difference in their brain structure.

So they performed brain scans of 42 women age 60 and older. Half of the women regularly practiced yoga — for the past 15 years, on average. The rest were healthy and physically active, but did not practice yoga.

Women in both groups also had similarly high education levels.

“Even with those similarities,” Kozasa said, “the yoga group presented a greater cortical thickness in brain regions involved in executive functions such as attention.”

However, there could be other explanations for the findings, Lavretsky said — such as differences in the two groups’ other lifestyle choices, sleep habits, or perceived stress levels.

Kozasa agreed. What’s needed, she said, is a long-term study that charts brain changes in yoga practitioners and non-practitioners over time.

And while some research suggests that yoga boosts memory and attention, it’s not clear whether the practice can curb older adults’ risk of dementia.

“It is too soon to state that yoga can protect your brain against dementia,” Kozasa stressed.

Still, she said, there’s no reason for older adults to delay trying yoga if they are interested.

“If practiced with an experienced instructor, older adults may get benefits from yoga for their mental and physical health,” Kozasa said.

The findings were published online recently in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has more on yoga.

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Yoga May Boost Aging Brains – Carlisle Sentinel

2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: time to compete! – The Tomahawk

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, in partnership with the nine Area Agencies on Aging and Disability, proudly announces the upcoming season of the Tennessee Senior Brain Games, now in its fifth year. This is an annual, statewide, team-based trivia competition designed to increase public awareness of brain health and its impact on ones quality of life.Interest and participation continues to grow every year. If an older adult organization wants to participate, this is still anyonesany teamscompetition. The only teams without a chance of winning are those that choose not to play.For the next several months, teams will compete within their districts to reach the East, Middle, and West Tennessee semi-finals. The winners of those semi-final rounds will then proceed to Jonesborough, Tennessee on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to take on the Olde Towners from the Jonesborough Senior Center, last years champions. The winning team takes home the cup for a year, earns $2000 for its organization, and gets to host the 2018 championship in their hometown.We all want to stay healthy and independent as we age. To do that, we need to exercise both our bodies and our minds. Ongoing research is helping us learn more about maintaining a healthy brain. While age and family history are risk factors, other things such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle are also believed to have an influence. You can make a difference in the quality of your life by making healthy choices and remaining active.Visit tn.gov/aging for more information about the competition and to register your team for this years Tennessee Senior Brain Games. If you have questions, call Annalea Cothron at 615-770-3901 or email her at annalea.cothron@tn.gov.

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2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: time to compete! – The Tomahawk

2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: Time to compete! – Winchester Herald Chronicle

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, in partnership with the nine Area Agencies on Aging and Disability, proudly announces the upcoming season of the Tennessee Senior Brain Games, now in its fifth year.

This is an annual, statewide, team-based trivia competition designed to increase public awareness of brain health and its impact on ones quality of life.

Interest and participation continues to grow every year. If an older adult organization wants to participate, this is still anyonesany teamscompetition. The only teams without a chance of winning are those that choose not to play.

For the next several months, teams will compete within their districts to reach the East, Middle, and West Tennessee semi-finals. The winners of those semi-final rounds will then proceed to Jonesborough, Tennessee on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to take on the Olde Towners from the Jonesborough Senior Center, last years champions. The winning team takes home the cup for a year, earns $2,000 for its organization, and gets to host the 2018 championship in their hometown.

Stay healthy and independent as you age. To do that, exercise bodies and minds. Ongoing research is helping teach more about maintaining a healthy brain. While age and family history are risk factors, other things such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle are also believed to have an influence. You can make a difference in the quality of your life by making healthy choices and remaining active.

Visit tn.gov/aging for more information about the competition and to register your team for this years Tennessee Senior Brain Games. If you have questions, call Annalea Cothron at 615-770-3901 or email her at annalea.cothron@tn.gov.

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2017 Tennessee Senior Brain Games call for teams: Time to compete! – Winchester Herald Chronicle

How to keep your brain sharp in older age – Medical Xpress

New research has revealed which mentally engaging activities best keep the brain sharp. Credit: University of Exeter

New research from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has revealed which mentally engaging activities best keep the brain sharp.

The research, involving Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, a member of the GCBH governing board, has concluded that doing puzzles and mind games isn’t the most effective way to keep our brains healthy as we get older.

More than 1 in 3 people surveyed by Age UK said that doing puzzles and mind games was likely to be the best way to keep our brains healthy as we get older.

But GCBH, working with Age UK and the AARP, have said in new research that the long-term benefits of these ‘brain games’ are little to non-existent.

Their research showed that if we play a brain game several times, despite getting better at the game, there is little improvement in our thinking abilities.

The research reveals which mentally engaging activities do have a link to keeping our brains sharp.

Examples include learning a language, practicing tai-chi, taking photography classes and investigating your genealogy. Physical activities that involve mental engagement (such as dancing or tennis) are also important.

It is especially important to include social engagement as part of these activities, such as volunteering and mentoring others in your community.

This advice is not just relevant for older people – we should be maintaining our brain health from as young an age as possible.

Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, said: “‘Engaging in mentally stimulating activities helps to maintain your brain health. This is true at any age – it’s never too late.”

Age UK’s Chief Scientist, James Goodwin explained: ‘Even though it’s never too late to learn something new, the overwhelming message from the report is that you shouldn’t wait until later life to try to maintain your brain health.

The younger you start challenging yourself with mentally stimulating activities, the better your brain function will be as you age.’

Tips from the experts

Myth-busting the brain ageing process

The report has also goes against many of the myths commonly believed about getting older:

Explore further: Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

Read more from the original source:
How to keep your brain sharp in older age – Medical Xpress


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