The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

September 4, 2013

Dennis Lanane: Improving brain functions

ANDERSON, Ind. — Triad will meet Sept. 19, 10:30 a.m. at the Anderson Mounds Mall in the theater area. We had 115 people attend our August meeting about “How to Improve your Brain Function.

This month we will talk some more about improving brain function. We will also talk about what Anderson and Madison County is doing about replacing trees that have been damaged by extremely dry summer and storm damage.

One helpful exercise people of any age can do is brain exercises. This keeps the brain healthy and helps you retain and improve your ability to remember and protect yourself from mental health issues. Many people fear that they might be starting to get Alzheimer’s or some other mental problems.

One helpful project I got involved with was Lumosity. Their system is designed by Neuroscientists to strengthen our ability to think, reason and remember. Lumosity concentrates on your speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem solving. These five components make up your Brain Performance Index (BPI).

When I started the Lumosity training in the second week of July, my first BPI reading was 222. After 10 days it was 309, after 30 days it was 490 and after 45 days it was 636.

What is the point of doing things like this? It is an area that myself and a lot of people are concerned about. Will I end up like some of my friends and relatives with some serious memory or other mental health issues? It is one of the biggest concerns in our society. Families that have had loved ones who fell victims to Alzheimer’s or other mental health problems have been through serious trauma and stress. We all should be doing what we can to keep our brain healthy. If not for ourselves, at least do it for your loved ones who have to watch when you slowly slip away from them.

If you do not want to use computers there are other recommendations you can do to try and make your brain grow and improve. Try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. Try doing other chores with the opposite hand until the brain is ‘trained’ to perform those functions. You will be creating new ‘neurons’. Sensory neurons relay information from sense organs, motor neurons carry impulses to muscles and glands. You will be building brain power instead of having it deteriorate.

Triad will have handouts of eleven other exercises that you can do to improve Brain Function. Word games are good, as well as comic strips where you find things that are different from one picture to the next,” says John E. Morley, MD, director of St. Louis University’s Division of Geriatric Medicine and author of The Science of Staying Young. In addition to word games, Dr. Morley recommends eleven exercises to sharpen your mental skills. This will be one of our Triad handouts that you can take home.

Dennis Lanane is chairman of Madison County Triad. His column appears the first Sunday of each month. He can be reached at qparadigm1@gmail.com.

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