. . . and you just might enjoy a better memory for a longer time. Read more about neurogenesis and changing your brain.
Saw a reference today to the brain as a “necktop computer“. Then the question following was “what software do I use on my necktop and where did I get it from”?
Interesting question when you think about it. And how do we find and download updates?
“The average waistline of people in the developed world has increased 400% in 25 years, with three-quarters of adults now overweight or obese. For the first time in history, there are literally more people overweight than that are starving (italics mine).”
This is a pretty interesting article. Put down that muffin and read more….
Coffee drinkers may have another reason to pour that extra cup. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were given caffeine – the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day – their memory impairment was reversed, report University of South Florida researchers at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
The image above shows that caffeine treatment removed the beta amyloid plaques from the brains of the Alzheimer’s mice.
Back-to-back studies published online today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, show caffeine significantly decreased abnormal levels of the protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, both in the brains and in the blood of mice exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Both studies build upon previous research by the Florida ADRC group showing that caffeine in early adulthood prevented the onset of memory problems in mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms in old age.
After you go get another cup of coffee, you can read the whole story here.
A friend of mine deplores the term retirement. Her thinking is that retirement is pretty much the equivalent of brain death. I agree.
I came across an interesting article this morning. The author begins by pondering the notion of retirement:
“Have you ever looked up the word “retirement” in the dictionary? Except for ads for retirement homes, the word definitely has negative connotations. Synonyms are: withdraw, resign, regress, recede, abdicate, depart, and on and on. There is no synonym to indicate anything upbeat or forward-thinking or optimistic.”
“In light of the profound social changes and medical advances that have taken place in American society, why has it taken so long for us to challenge the meaning of the word retirement, a period in life which now amounts to almost one-fourth of our potential lifetime? I asked people all over the country to come up with a substitute word for retirement, a single, acceptable, positive word to describe this segment of our lives. I found one that, for my present purposes, fills the need: The word is REDIRECT. Think about it: Isn’t redirection what most of us actually focus on when we leave the work force or change our style of living after some 60 years? “
The first time I watched Jill Bolte Taylor’s presentation at a TED conference, I was stunned. At the age of 37, this Harvard-trained neuroanatomist experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain – she had a massive stroke – and remained conscious through the entire episode. When she realized what was going on, her reaction was: “Wow, I’m having a stroke. This is so cool!” Only a neuroanatomist could have a reaction like this. In her TED presentation, she tells an abbreviated version of the story and it is amazing. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Now I’ve just finished listening to her book, My Stroke of Insight. I’ve listened to it several times, in fact. If you are intrigued by her TED presentation and if you like audiobooks, get it. If you prefer to read, read the book. My Stroke of Insight contains a lot of good science and medical information about the brain and stroke, but in an entirely accessible way. Some critics of the book have complained that the ending is a little sappy. After reading it for yourself you may determine, like me, that this is very “left-brained” of them.
After listening to the book, I searched for more information about Bolte Taylor. I came across this interview she did with Oprah. While I’m not a huge Oprah fan, I did want to watch and listen further to Bolte Taylor talk about her experience. (Just an aside -I had better luck watching this in Internet Explorer than Firefox.)
Right now I’m right smack dab in the middle of part two of the interview. But I had to pause and take a little time to gush here hoping to encourage anyone with even the slight interest or curiosity about the enormous power of the brain to watch, listen, or read about this remarkable experience.
If you’re at all interested in brain stuff, another great book is The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge.
Now I’m headed back to the interview . . . .
Finally. If you’ve ever felt like humans might be in some sort of evolutionary phase, you may be right. Stephen Hawking makes an interesting observing concerning internally transmitted information – as through our genes – and externally transmitted information.
According to Hawking the internal record of information which is handed down through our DNA has not changed significantly. “But the external record, in books, and other long lasting forms of storage,” Hawking says, “has grown enormously. Some people would use the term, evolution, only for the internally transmitted genetic material, and would object to it being applied to information handed down externally. But I think that is too narrow a view. We are more than just our genes.” Read more here….