Seven memory tricks

Let them play
Video games are no longer the exclusive domain of teenagers who shoot, fly and punch their way through complex and hostile terrain. Serious games are a tremendous growth market, because they offer the player a safe environment in which to train all sorts of abilities, whether that’s flying a passenger plane or exercising the brain.
In the United States, the company Posit Science is hard at work developing games to counteract symptoms of old age. The research, according to the company, is yielding very promising results. One study among almost 500 seniors playing various games showed that the (healthy) seniors got better at performing tasks, could remember more, and could follow a conversation better. The scientific basis for this is the “plasticity” of the brain. Certain brain functions, such as memory, can be taken over by other parts of the brain, thanks to intense training.
“Research into the development of brain cells has only just recently been showing us that adult brains can continue to grow,” says Betty Tijms, postdoctoral researcher at the Alzheimer’s Center at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands (VUmc). Last year, Simone Kühn and Jürgen Gallinat, at the Max Planck Institute, in Berlin, proved that brains truly can “change” through intense gaming. After years of daily gaming, a group of Germans were found to have a larger-than-average hippocampus. That is the part of the brain that holds memory; by contrast, Alzheimer’s patients have a smaller-than-average hippocampus.
To find out exactly what happens in the brains of gaming Alzheimer’s patients, we need clinical research. Early this year, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, together with Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs, started clinical trials of the game Project:EVO, aimed at early detection of Alzheimer’s symptoms. In this game, an alien creature encounters a number of obstacles, to which the player must respond. The game collects information on the player’s skills as he or she plays and adapts to the player. Quickly responding to options, reacting to stimuli, thinking ahead—these are the abilities that often are first affected by Alzheimer’s.
Keep moving
Seven-memory-tricks-2Exercise could well prove to be the most important protection against dementia, according to research done by the Rush University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, in Chicago. First and foremost, it protects against many ailments associated with the development of dementia, such as obesity and diabetes. More movement directly stimulates the brain.
The neuropsychologist Erik Scherder has been trying to call more attention to the importance of exercise for dementia patients. He speaks of the strong relationship between movement and cognition, the mood and the “biological clock.” “Locomotion and cognition are run along the same neural pathways in the brain,” Scherder explains. “Exercise and cognitive development go hand in hand.” According to Scherder, who works for the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, someone who leads an active life reduces his chances of developing dementia by 20 to 50 percent.
People who already have dementia can also benefit from exercising. During a walk, the brain continuously receives stimuli, which improve memory and mood. A 35-year dementia study done at Cardiff University, in Wales, shows the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and of exercise in particular.
David Perlmutter calls the results of recent studies into the benefit of exercise “sensational.” In his book Grain Brain, he writes, “People who engage in some kind of aerobic fitness program—running, biking, weightlifting—increase the size of the memory center, thereby improving their memory. That’s incredible! Why is nobody talking about this? There’s no medicine on earth that can accomplish this.” These beneficial effects can be had even if you start an exercise program at a later age, says Perlmutter.
According to the researchers at Rush University, it’s equally important to exercise your brain muscles. Robert Wilson, a neuropsychologist at Rush University, says, “Challenge yourself with crossword puzzles, chess or read a book on history.”
Secret of the jellyfish
Seven-memory-tricks-3The American researcher Mark Underwood is fascinated by the jellyfish. During his neurochemistry studies, he learned about the protein apoaeqorin, also known as aeqorin, which could play an important role in keeping the brain healthy. The Japanese researcher Osamu Shimomura was the first to isolate the protein from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria and discover that it glowed green under ultraviolet light. This discovery earned him the 2008 Nobel Prize for chemistry because of the many promising medical applications his discovery held.
“My grandfather had Alzheimer’s,” says Underwood. “So I was very interested in this discovery, and I wanted to do more research.” Underwood established the research firm Quincy Bioscience. Together with researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Quincy Bioscience studied whether aeqorin could play a role in Alzheimer’s-affected brains. Underwood was particularly interested in the way in which aeqorin in the jellyfish binds calcium molecules. Many studies have shown that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients don’t have a healthy calcium balance in their brains, and that too much calcium can damage their brain cells. Research at Quincy Bioscience shows that aeqorin could possibly counter this process.
Quincy Bioscience developed a supplement, Prevagen, which is available as an over-the-counter supplement in the United States. Underwood, however, does not extract the aeqorin from jellyfish; he has found a way to synthesize it. During the recent so-called Madison Memory Study, Prevagen was put to the test. Results from that test showed that 19 percent of the 218 participants with memory problems scored significantly better on memory tests after using Prevagen.
The memory of a lion
According to legend, only the emperor of China was allowed to eat the lion’s mane mushroom. It was said to have given him “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”
Seven-memory-tricks-4These mushrooms, Hericium erinaceus, are being looked at more closely today for their brain-protecting qualities. Japan’s Shizuoka University is involved in one such study. Dr. Hirokazu Kawagishi studied seven dementia patients who were given five grams of dried lion’s mane every day. After six months, there were improvements in the memory tests of six of the seven patients. Kawagishi determined that the improvements were due to substances in lion’s mane called hericenones, which stimulate nerve growth and counteract the aging process in the brain.
The American doctor Fred Pescatore, author of a number of books about nutrition and health, among them The Hamptons Diet, uses lion’s mane regularly in his practice. Pescatore, a practitioner of integrative medicine in the heart of New York City, prescribes a number of supplements for his patients with memory problems, but lion’s mane makes up the bulk of that. His dosage is one gram of lion’s mane, three times a day.
“It’s very important to myelinize the brain,” says Pescatore, by which he means the production of more myeline, a fatty substance that coats nerve endings. This substance is crucial, as myeline is responsible for sending nerve impulses more quickly and is also involved in the repair and growth of brain cells.
Lion’s mane can be purchased as a supplement in the United States. It has a mild licorice taste.
A rejuvenation cure for the brain
seven-memory-tricks-5Marijke de Waal Malefijt calls it a “must” in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia: phosphatidylserine, or PS. De Waal Malefijt is a dietitian, a pioneer in the orthomolecular study of nutrition.
The fatty nutrient PS is found in the membranes of our cells, she explains, but it is most concentrated in the brain. PS offers a boost to poorly functioning memories, according to De Waal Malefijt. “It can slow or even reverse memory loss as a result of the normal aging process,” she says. De Waal Malefijt uses PS a lot in her own practice.
According to Thomas Crook, head of the geriatric medical program at the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, PS can give our brains a rejuvenation of about twelve years. PS is not some exotic item from a faraway tropical jungle. It can be found in legumes, eggs, fatty fish and organ meats, but it is not easy to get enough through food. The positive effects on memory and other brain functions have been shown in more than 35 studies.
PS has become known through the efforts of people like American Nita Scoggan. Thanks to PS, she brought her husband, who suffered from dementia, back from the brink. She explains it all on her website: nitascoggan.com.
Barking up the right tree
seven-memory-tricks-6Have you ever considered that our brains use 30 percent of all the oxygen that our bodies take in? Once you realize that, it becomes very clear why good blood flow to the brain is so important for a healthy brain. The bark of the maritime pine tree, in the -Mediterranean, has been used for decades for that very reason.
Australian researchers tested the active substance in pine bark, patented and marketed as Pycnogenol, on a group of healthy seniors some five years ago. This research showed that the substance measurably contributed to better memory and healthy brain cells. In addition, it combats the protein amyloid B, which starts building up in older brains. This is significant, because -Alzheimer’s is often paired with (or is partially caused by) a decrease in blood flow to the brain.
Added bonus: the substance also measurably contributes to younger, healthier-looking skin. And what works for the elderly, is—in this case—also good for the young. A recent Italian study found that Pycnogenol helped a group of students remember their lessons better. They had, on average, more attention for the class and—also not unimportant—better moods.
Coconut oil, the turbo fuel
Steve Newport, an accountant from Spring Hill, Florida, was only fifty-two when he suddenly started forgetting appointments. He lost things and one day couldn’t even remember his way home. In 2000, he was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Newport quickly went downhill from there. In 2004, he got the standard Alzheimer’s regimen of rivastigmine (Exelon), Namenda (memantine) and Aricept (donepezil). But his situation didn’t improve.
“It was a destructive, life-altering blow. The future, once bright, was now grey and somber,” Mary Newport, Steve’s wife, would later write. Mary, who is a doctor, started researching the best treatment options available after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She tried to get him signed up for all kinds of experimental treatments, but he didn’t qualify for any of them. One evening, she read something about the healing properties of MCFA oil. MCFA stands for medium-chain fatty acids. The saturated fat in coconut oil is composed of 60 percent MCFA. Newport was desperate; she thought, Let’s give it a try.
seven-memory-tricks-7She wrote about the results of that decision in her 2011 book Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? From the moment she started putting three teaspoons of coconut oil in her husband’s food, twice a day, his memory started to improve. Where before he would wander around the house in a confused daze, he could now start to resume his old activities, such as going for a daily jog. His lost speech and memory abilities came back. He couldn’t go back to work as an accountant, but he did start volunteering at a local hospital.
Coconut oil comes from the meat of the coconut and consists, for the most part, of saturated fatty acids of short- and medium-long-chain fatty acid molecules. Our bodies turn these into ketones, which serve as fuel for the brain. It is known that the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have trouble with glucose uptake, our most important source of energy, but they can take in ketones. These then provide the brain with a new source of energy. For this reason, David Perlmutter refers to them as “a turbo fuel for the brain.” Research published in 2004 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging showed that the cognitive functions of 20 test participants improved within 90 minutes of taking 40 milliliters of MCFA. All the participants suffered from Alzheimer’s or some form of memory loss.
Mary Newport would like to see the development of a drug based on ketones. Coconut oil works, she says, but it is not effective enough to cure. She cites work done by researcher and doctor Richard Veech, who is working on a drinkable ketone formula in his National Institutes of Health lab. But it will take considerable time and money to make medicine from this, she concludes.
Steve Newport continues to suffer from Alzheimer’s. He continues to slowly deteriorate, but his wife is convinced that without coconut oil he would have died a long time ago. On her website, she gives some practical tips on how to use coconut oil. Such as: Always use unrefined coconut oil, which does not contain unhealthy trans fats. And: Instead of coconut oil, you can use MCFA oil. |For more information: coconutketones.blogspot.com.

Solution News Source

Seven memory tricks

Let them play
Video games are no longer the exclusive domain of teenagers who shoot, fly and punch their way through complex and hostile terrain. Serious games are a tremendous growth market, because they offer the player a safe environment in which to train all sorts of abilities, whether that’s flying a passenger plane or exercising the brain.
In the United States, the company Posit Science is hard at work developing games to counteract symptoms of old age. The research, according to the company, is yielding very promising results. One study among almost 500 seniors playing various games showed that the (healthy) seniors got better at performing tasks, could remember more, and could follow a conversation better. The scientific basis for this is the “plasticity” of the brain. Certain brain functions, such as memory, can be taken over by other parts of the brain, thanks to intense training.
“Research into the development of brain cells has only just recently been showing us that adult brains can continue to grow,” says Betty Tijms, postdoctoral researcher at the Alzheimer’s Center at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands (VUmc). Last year, Simone Kühn and Jürgen Gallinat, at the Max Planck Institute, in Berlin, proved that brains truly can “change” through intense gaming. After years of daily gaming, a group of Germans were found to have a larger-than-average hippocampus. That is the part of the brain that holds memory; by contrast, Alzheimer’s patients have a smaller-than-average hippocampus.
To find out exactly what happens in the brains of gaming Alzheimer’s patients, we need clinical research. Early this year, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, together with Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs, started clinical trials of the game Project:EVO, aimed at early detection of Alzheimer’s symptoms. In this game, an alien creature encounters a number of obstacles, to which the player must respond. The game collects information on the player’s skills as he or she plays and adapts to the player. Quickly responding to options, reacting to stimuli, thinking ahead—these are the abilities that often are first affected by Alzheimer’s.
Keep moving
Seven-memory-tricks-2Exercise could well prove to be the most important protection against dementia, according to research done by the Rush University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, in Chicago. First and foremost, it protects against many ailments associated with the development of dementia, such as obesity and diabetes. More movement directly stimulates the brain.
The neuropsychologist Erik Scherder has been trying to call more attention to the importance of exercise for dementia patients. He speaks of the strong relationship between movement and cognition, the mood and the “biological clock.” “Locomotion and cognition are run along the same neural pathways in the brain,” Scherder explains. “Exercise and cognitive development go hand in hand.” According to Scherder, who works for the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, someone who leads an active life reduces his chances of developing dementia by 20 to 50 percent.
People who already have dementia can also benefit from exercising. During a walk, the brain continuously receives stimuli, which improve memory and mood. A 35-year dementia study done at Cardiff University, in Wales, shows the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and of exercise in particular.
David Perlmutter calls the results of recent studies into the benefit of exercise “sensational.” In his book Grain Brain, he writes, “People who engage in some kind of aerobic fitness program—running, biking, weightlifting—increase the size of the memory center, thereby improving their memory. That’s incredible! Why is nobody talking about this? There’s no medicine on earth that can accomplish this.” These beneficial effects can be had even if you start an exercise program at a later age, says Perlmutter.
According to the researchers at Rush University, it’s equally important to exercise your brain muscles. Robert Wilson, a neuropsychologist at Rush University, says, “Challenge yourself with crossword puzzles, chess or read a book on history.”
Secret of the jellyfish
Seven-memory-tricks-3The American researcher Mark Underwood is fascinated by the jellyfish. During his neurochemistry studies, he learned about the protein apoaeqorin, also known as aeqorin, which could play an important role in keeping the brain healthy. The Japanese researcher Osamu Shimomura was the first to isolate the protein from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria and discover that it glowed green under ultraviolet light. This discovery earned him the 2008 Nobel Prize for chemistry because of the many promising medical applications his discovery held.
“My grandfather had Alzheimer’s,” says Underwood. “So I was very interested in this discovery, and I wanted to do more research.” Underwood established the research firm Quincy Bioscience. Together with researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Quincy Bioscience studied whether aeqorin could play a role in Alzheimer’s-affected brains. Underwood was particularly interested in the way in which aeqorin in the jellyfish binds calcium molecules. Many studies have shown that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients don’t have a healthy calcium balance in their brains, and that too much calcium can damage their brain cells. Research at Quincy Bioscience shows that aeqorin could possibly counter this process.
Quincy Bioscience developed a supplement, Prevagen, which is available as an over-the-counter supplement in the United States. Underwood, however, does not extract the aeqorin from jellyfish; he has found a way to synthesize it. During the recent so-called Madison Memory Study, Prevagen was put to the test. Results from that test showed that 19 percent of the 218 participants with memory problems scored significantly better on memory tests after using Prevagen.
The memory of a lion
According to legend, only the emperor of China was allowed to eat the lion’s mane mushroom. It was said to have given him “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”
Seven-memory-tricks-4These mushrooms, Hericium erinaceus, are being looked at more closely today for their brain-protecting qualities. Japan’s Shizuoka University is involved in one such study. Dr. Hirokazu Kawagishi studied seven dementia patients who were given five grams of dried lion’s mane every day. After six months, there were improvements in the memory tests of six of the seven patients. Kawagishi determined that the improvements were due to substances in lion’s mane called hericenones, which stimulate nerve growth and counteract the aging process in the brain.
The American doctor Fred Pescatore, author of a number of books about nutrition and health, among them The Hamptons Diet, uses lion’s mane regularly in his practice. Pescatore, a practitioner of integrative medicine in the heart of New York City, prescribes a number of supplements for his patients with memory problems, but lion’s mane makes up the bulk of that. His dosage is one gram of lion’s mane, three times a day.
“It’s very important to myelinize the brain,” says Pescatore, by which he means the production of more myeline, a fatty substance that coats nerve endings. This substance is crucial, as myeline is responsible for sending nerve impulses more quickly and is also involved in the repair and growth of brain cells.
Lion’s mane can be purchased as a supplement in the United States. It has a mild licorice taste.
A rejuvenation cure for the brain
seven-memory-tricks-5Marijke de Waal Malefijt calls it a “must” in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia: phosphatidylserine, or PS. De Waal Malefijt is a dietitian, a pioneer in the orthomolecular study of nutrition.
The fatty nutrient PS is found in the membranes of our cells, she explains, but it is most concentrated in the brain. PS offers a boost to poorly functioning memories, according to De Waal Malefijt. “It can slow or even reverse memory loss as a result of the normal aging process,” she says. De Waal Malefijt uses PS a lot in her own practice.
According to Thomas Crook, head of the geriatric medical program at the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, PS can give our brains a rejuvenation of about twelve years. PS is not some exotic item from a faraway tropical jungle. It can be found in legumes, eggs, fatty fish and organ meats, but it is not easy to get enough through food. The positive effects on memory and other brain functions have been shown in more than 35 studies.
PS has become known through the efforts of people like American Nita Scoggan. Thanks to PS, she brought her husband, who suffered from dementia, back from the brink. She explains it all on her website: nitascoggan.com.
Barking up the right tree
seven-memory-tricks-6Have you ever considered that our brains use 30 percent of all the oxygen that our bodies take in? Once you realize that, it becomes very clear why good blood flow to the brain is so important for a healthy brain. The bark of the maritime pine tree, in the -Mediterranean, has been used for decades for that very reason.
Australian researchers tested the active substance in pine bark, patented and marketed as Pycnogenol, on a group of healthy seniors some five years ago. This research showed that the substance measurably contributed to better memory and healthy brain cells. In addition, it combats the protein amyloid B, which starts building up in older brains. This is significant, because -Alzheimer’s is often paired with (or is partially caused by) a decrease in blood flow to the brain.
Added bonus: the substance also measurably contributes to younger, healthier-looking skin. And what works for the elderly, is—in this case—also good for the young. A recent Italian study found that Pycnogenol helped a group of students remember their lessons better. They had, on average, more attention for the class and—also not unimportant—better moods.
Coconut oil, the turbo fuel
Steve Newport, an accountant from Spring Hill, Florida, was only fifty-two when he suddenly started forgetting appointments. He lost things and one day couldn’t even remember his way home. In 2000, he was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Newport quickly went downhill from there. In 2004, he got the standard Alzheimer’s regimen of rivastigmine (Exelon), Namenda (memantine) and Aricept (donepezil). But his situation didn’t improve.
“It was a destructive, life-altering blow. The future, once bright, was now grey and somber,” Mary Newport, Steve’s wife, would later write. Mary, who is a doctor, started researching the best treatment options available after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She tried to get him signed up for all kinds of experimental treatments, but he didn’t qualify for any of them. One evening, she read something about the healing properties of MCFA oil. MCFA stands for medium-chain fatty acids. The saturated fat in coconut oil is composed of 60 percent MCFA. Newport was desperate; she thought, Let’s give it a try.
seven-memory-tricks-7She wrote about the results of that decision in her 2011 book Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? From the moment she started putting three teaspoons of coconut oil in her husband’s food, twice a day, his memory started to improve. Where before he would wander around the house in a confused daze, he could now start to resume his old activities, such as going for a daily jog. His lost speech and memory abilities came back. He couldn’t go back to work as an accountant, but he did start volunteering at a local hospital.
Coconut oil comes from the meat of the coconut and consists, for the most part, of saturated fatty acids of short- and medium-long-chain fatty acid molecules. Our bodies turn these into ketones, which serve as fuel for the brain. It is known that the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have trouble with glucose uptake, our most important source of energy, but they can take in ketones. These then provide the brain with a new source of energy. For this reason, David Perlmutter refers to them as “a turbo fuel for the brain.” Research published in 2004 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging showed that the cognitive functions of 20 test participants improved within 90 minutes of taking 40 milliliters of MCFA. All the participants suffered from Alzheimer’s or some form of memory loss.
Mary Newport would like to see the development of a drug based on ketones. Coconut oil works, she says, but it is not effective enough to cure. She cites work done by researcher and doctor Richard Veech, who is working on a drinkable ketone formula in his National Institutes of Health lab. But it will take considerable time and money to make medicine from this, she concludes.
Steve Newport continues to suffer from Alzheimer’s. He continues to slowly deteriorate, but his wife is convinced that without coconut oil he would have died a long time ago. On her website, she gives some practical tips on how to use coconut oil. Such as: Always use unrefined coconut oil, which does not contain unhealthy trans fats. And: Instead of coconut oil, you can use MCFA oil. |For more information: coconutketones.blogspot.com.

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