Computer Based Training for Seniors: Does It Work? While computer-based brain fitness programs have increased in popularity and availability to the general public, questions remain regarding their effectiveness. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School recently reported the results of a meta-analysis that suggests such software programs are comparable or better for training than traditional pen and paper techniques. Their study, published online in in PLoS ONE this July, used data from 38 eligible studies published since 1984 to compare the effectiveness of neuropsychological software, classic cognitive training, and video game-based training. These results suggest that brain fitness software training programs are a good option to consider when looking at ways of training your – or your mom’s – brain.
Who’s In Charge of Your Brain? The Lateral Prefrontal Cortex, of Course. One of the compelling questions of neuroscience is where the “intelligence” or cognitive control that makes us uniquely human resides in the brain. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) may act as a “global hub,” connecting the different regions of the brain to promote cognitive control and coordinate function. The researchers suggest that the LPFC is not the “seat” of human intelligence, but rather may play a unique mechanical role in making brainwide connections that influence control and intelligence.
New Resources on Alzheimer’s Disease: The Health and Human Services agency recently launched a new website with information about Alzheimer’s disease for patients and their families. The website, www.alzheimers.gov, was launched as part of the administration’s National Alzheimer’s Project Act, offers educational information about the disease, treatment, management, and caregiver support. Home Instead Senior Care, a senior care agency, has launched a series of free online courses about Alzheimer’s disease designed for families and professional caregivers. The courses, which can be found by clicking here are each approximately 15 minutes in length, cover a range of topics on caring for someone suffering from the disease.
Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D., is one of America’s foremost memory fitness and brain health experts. Dr. Green is the founder and president of Memory Arts, LLC, a company that provides memory fitness and brain health training to organizations, corporations, and individuals. She is also an acclaimed author, respected lecturer, and sought-after spokesperson known for her engaging and personable presentation style. Dr. Green has appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, 20/20, Fox News, CNBC, and National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation,” as well as in the pages of Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The London Standard, Good Housekeeping, Prevention, and Parenting, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Dr. Green received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from New York University. Since 1990, she has served on the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she is currently an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry. Dr. Green is a recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, having served as co-principal investigator on a number of clinical trials that evaluated treatments for this condition. www.totalbrainhealth.com