Tag Archives: cognitive thinking

When someone is changing right in front of your eyes !!!!!

When you have a loved one and you start to notice different behaviors such as if they are usually easy going, kind hearted, gentle, would never hurt you mentally and or physically, then in a fast amount of time they become angry, mean, temper tantrums, violent mentally, You cant put your finger on it but you know something is wrong, They normally were right on top of everything bills, what ever needed to be done and instead even items on a grocery list are not there, bills not getting paid, loosing important papers, loosing medications just picked up at the pharmacy.

When asking what’s going on, You receive a very defensive person, they may kick you out of the house, or their bedroom, they become isolated, I feel this is out of depression and fear of what is happening to them. They know something is not right, they may sleep more, drink more, have more pain specially in the head, emotional episodes that were confusing . Behavior that makes them not appropriate in public, They fight you on everything,

Finally they may if a strong person may come to you and cry, like a baby, admitting they need help, they don’t know what is wrong, but they are forgetting things, not just normal age type things, like where they are, where they are going, after you give directions you still end up at the wrong place, they learn to adapt and how to cover up what’s happening. But still defensive, they can become paranoid, pace the floor, urinate in their pants and can’t hold it anymore, accuse you of things out of paranoia.

Their eating habits may change, they may eat more or less, or in this situation eat more, hide food, keep it in their car or locked in their room. You ask, they don’t have any, a full box of donuts gone no one else had any, almost like they don’t realize there doing it and deny it.

Even if they trust you enough to ask for help, its very important to their self esteem you don’t put them down and let them know you will always be there with them and won’t leave them. But then the next day they can transfer money out of the bank, take your keys, anything to remain in control over there life that they so eagerly want to hold on to.

If you feel well maybe it’s just me, or a phase, but other family members say things like, is so and so ok? Why? He is looking like he’s not here with us at the table, like vacant. Or I saw this person sitting on a stool starring off into space and wasn’t really there. Or finding them doing odd things like falling asleep sitting straight up like they were awake but asleep, or watering the pavement saying they are watering the grass.

It could be numerous things, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, a Traumatic brain injury, stroke, TIA’s, personality disorder, medications, so you must offer support the biggest fear they have is being alone, so you must reassure them you can be trusted and are their for them no matter what, other wise they won’t tell the truth of what’s going on. Brain Atrophy and alcohol and or past alcohol can escalade these symptoms, Smoking pot can also escalate these symptoms specially if used along length of time.

So If you notice anything of these symptoms, Please with out putting someone down, or making them feel bad, Be there, be strong for them even if you cry in another room.

If you notice these changes and happens in a quick amount of time like 6 months, you need to get them into a Neurologist, get a MRI, have cognitive thinking testing, and if it a reputable place they will ask the loved ones what they have noticed because they will not indulge the information to the Dr out of fear of a diagnosis. You have to be the person who steps up and recognizes there is something wrong, you can’t still your head in the sand. The sooner for a diagnosis, sooner for treatment and some Brain issues can be reversed or slowed down. So it’s not a time to take lightly.

If a accurate diagnosis is made its important how you and your loved ones can find out what you can do to help this person to keep them at their best, if they are tired, let them sleep, if they can’t get something done, oh well, learn to make small things just that! But also helping your loved one is the best gift you can give them.

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How to improve cognitive thinking!

Why Omega 3 Helps With Vertigo And Memory Issues

by Bobby Gibbs from Cure Vertigo facebook page. | May 5, 2016 | BPPV, Dizziness, Memory, Vertigo | 0 comments
Why Omega 3 Helps With Vertigo And Memory Issues

Are you feeling light-headed or does it feel like the world around you is spinning? Chances are you may be suffering from vertigo. This can make you feel really dizzy and can cause you to feel sick at times.

There are many associated ailments with vertigo such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, lack of energy and low blood pressure. Even conditions such as tinnitus and hearing loss can be linked to vertigo as they are related to the ears.

How Omega 3 Affects Thinking And Processing

Omega 3 is a type of fat with many beneficial properties. There are 3 main forms of omega 3, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). ALA is the simplest form of omega 3, where the body converts ALA into DHA and EPA. All 3 are required for optimal health, in particular DHA and EPA which has been shown to improve learning and conditions such as Dementia.

Having vertigo can affect cognition, making thinking and problem solving much more difficult. If omega 3 levels are consistently low within the body, this can further compromise cognition, leaving you with brain fog and memory issues.

Within the brain, there are billions of neurons. A part of a neuron, known as the axon possesses a myelin sheath. These myelin sheaths act as an outer coating for each neuron’s axon and is necessary for fast brain processing and neuron transmission. The myelin sheath also plays an important role in terms of the quality of neuron signals which are sent throughout the brain and body. Conditions such as a concussion and stroke can worsen the quality of these signals.

Omega 3 strengthens the myelin sheath and improves overall brain activity. It is essential for neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt to novel activities. If you’ve been having trouble thinking, learning and remembering things, it might be time to get some more omega 3 in your system.

Benefits Of Omega 3

Some of the benefits of omega 3 include the following:

Reduces dizziness
Reduces inflammation – inflammation can cause vertigo
Better memory
Easier learning
Treatment for ADHD
Helps fight depression and anxiety
Increases serotonin levels which helps us feel happier
Used for Heart Disease
Reduces Acne
Supports healthy vision
Regulates Cholestesterol levels
Improves cognition

How Can I Make Sure I’m Getting Enough Omega 3

Outlined below are various ways to ensure you’re getting enough omega 3 in your diet:

Oily fish

Salmon, Mackerel and sardines are great sources of omega 3.

Seeds

Flaxseeds and Chia seeds are high in omega 3.

Supplements

Omega 3 supplements such as cod liver oil also contain omega 3. Be sure to use a high quality product. It is recommended not to go beyond 3 grams of omega 3 a day, as too much omega 3 can cause side effects such as blood thin

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Music helping Dementia

In 2014, a documentary called Alive Inside premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and picked up the audience award for best documentary. The film explores the idea that music can help reawaken memories and emotions in dementia patients and features the work of social worker Dan Cohen, MSW, whose nonprofit organization Music & Memory has improved the quality of life of thousands of patients through a very simple approach: giving them an iPod. Medscape recently spoke with Cohen about his rapidly growing initiative and about the therapeutic potential of personalized music in patients suffering from dementia.

Medscape: What is the mission of Music & Memory?

Mr Cohen: Music & Memory, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of personalized music to improve the quality of life of elders or anyone who has a cognitive or physical issue.

Medscape: What inspired you to start this nonprofit?

Mr Cohen: I’m a social worker but also have a long career with technology companies. In 2006 on the radio, I heard a journalist talk about how iPods were ubiquitous, and I thought, well, most young people have them, and many older adults do too. However, in a nursing home, it just didn’t seem likely that people had these devices that the rest of us had. I Googled “iPods in nursing homes,” and among 16,000 nursing homes, I could not find one that was using them. I called up a local facility and asked if we could try something. I knew the residents already had music, but I wanted to see if there was any added value to totally personalizing the music. They said yes, and it was an instant and definitive hit.

Medscape: How can music help patients with dementia and other cognitive problems?

Mr Cohen: Music has multiple benefits. People with dementia who have lost their short-term memory often retain their long-term memory, especially for music. If you play music from someone’s youth that holds personal meaning, it will help them stay connected with themselves and be more alive, alert, communicative, social, attentive, and more engaged. There is abundant research focus on music’s ability to reduce blood pressure, improve mood, enhance sleep, as well as reduce agitation and anxiety. Research has also shown that it reduces behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Then there is research around how music helps reduce pain, as described by an article from the Journal of Advanced Nursing in the 1990s.[1] Music also helps to facilitate occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.[2]

Music, speech, and movement are all interconnected in the brain. People fail rehabilitation because they’re not getting up and walking. I remember this one gentleman who was not walking; he was given James Brown, and within a week he was walking 100 yards. There is no guarantee that music will generate hoped-for outcomes. Everyone is different. But the music that moves you now will probably move you the same regardless of cognitive impairment later in life. If you are unable to communicate what music you love, and no one else knows, you might end up listening to music you don’t like. That’s why people are beginning to integrate their list of favorites into their advance directives.

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Online cognitive training ! Does it really work?

Online cognitive training programs promise to boost memory and attention, and they’re popping up at a rapid pace. According to one dementia expert, the online cognitive training business has grown from about $200 million annually 6 or 7 years ago to an estimated $2 billion a year today.

But are these companies truly giving patients an edge when it comes to warding off dementia, or are they cashing in on the worried well and an often vulnerable aging population?

Cognitive training is loosely defined as regularly engaging in a cognitive task, for example, learning a list of words, a set of pictures, or a certain route to a particular target.

Online cognitive training programs typically involve buying a monthly or annual subscription that allows users access to various cognitive tasks. These users sit at a computer to do these tasks on a regular basis. They usually have to pay more to get upgraded applications.

“It’s a huge industry,” says Peter Snyder, PhD, professor, neurology, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, and chief research officer, Lifespan Hospital System, Providence, Rhode Island, and editor, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, the Alzheimer’s Association’s online, open-access journal.

Dr Peter Snyder

Not surprisingly, many of these brain training companies target the aging baby boomer market. For the next 15 years, 10,000 people per day, every day, will turn age 65 in the United States, Dr Snyder said.

Many of them are worried about their memory. The issue of how to prevent dementia ”actually comes up almost every time I see a patient,” says David Knopman, MD, professor, neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and an investigator in the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer Research Center, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr David Knopman

If they still have a job, Dr Knopman advises patients that they probably get enough stimulation in the work environment. ”Certainly the computer can’t be as good for mental stimulation as the challenges you face in the work environment, even if you’re not in an executive position.” Continue Reading

And if the patient is retired but reads newspapers, belongs to a book club, or does volunteer work, “what would the computer testing offer that this socially engaging and mentally stimulating activity doesn’t provide?” asks Dr Knopman.

The benefits of cognitive activity aren’t in question. It’s clear from the literature, says Dr Snyder, that engaging cognitively with challenging and varied tasks may help slow the rate of progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Sylvie Belleville, PhD, professor, neuropsychology, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and director of the research center there, also stresses the importance of living a cognitively demanding life.

Dr Sylvie Belleville

“It’s amazing the effect that lifetime stimulating cognitive activities have on the brain,” she says “People who have been cognitively engaged have less amyloid burden in their brain; they have a larger brain and more activation in the brain when they do a task.”

Eric Reiman, MD, executive director, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, director, PET Center, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, and director, Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium, Phoenix, emphasizes the importance of cognitive stimulation in the form of higher education — either through the “use it or lose it” hypothesis or the “cognitive reserve” hypothesis, where the educated seem to be able to compensate for cognitive loss.

He points out that many highly educated people don’t exhibit manifestations of dementia until it’s relatively severe, although he says that at that stage, such people seem to decline at a relatively fast rate.

In addition to cognitively stimulating activities and higher education, lifestyle habits play a huge role in preserving mental power. For example, being socially engaged — getting out, gardening, seeing family — reduces stress, depression, and loneliness, which in turn can help maintain brain function, according to Dr Snyder.

Dr Reiman adds that treating diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels; losing excess weight; and not smoking also help retain cognitive ability.

He notes that such healthy lifestyle interventions may be the reason behind reports that the expected increase in the prevalence of Alzheimer disease isn’t materializing.

Rock Solid Evidence

The lifestyle factor that has the most credible evidence for protecting against dementia to date is not cognitive training but physical activity. “The evidence is absolutely rock solid; it’s incontrovertible,” says Dr Snyder.

He worries that patients will play online cognitive games three times a week in the hopes of protecting their brain instead of taking a brisk walk three times a week. Continue Reading

Playing 3D Video Games May Aid Memory
Aerobic Exercise Has Disease-Modifying Effect in MCI
Alzheimer’s Disease News & Perspectives

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Overall scores on the Neuropsychological Test Battery in the intervention group were 25% higher than those in a control group that received only regular health advice. The results were particularly striking in the areas of executive function and processing speed.

But how much brain training contributes to the mix remains to be seen.

Literature a “Wreck”

The literature in this area leaves a lot to be desired, Dr Snyder said. Most of the published literature is a “wreck,” he says, partly because the outcome measures are confounded, the follow-up period isn’t long enough, or proper comparisons aren’t in place.

A randomized controlled trial of cognitive training would have to compare this training to an appropriate placebo, he points out. “In this case, what’s the placebo? Is it absolutely nothing at all, which in most cases is what has been done?”

The question, says Dr Snyder, should be whether the online tasks are more effective than freely accessible pursuits doctors might routinely recommend to older adults, which in addition to regular physical activity might be things like learning a new language or practicing the piano.

Learning a language or an instrument is a complex process that involves several cognitive functions. In contrast, many of the online cognitive games being marketed focus on very specific cognitive functions, for example, remembering word lists.

So after some practice, you may get good at remembering those word lists — the so-called training effect — but how that translates into everyday life is unclear. “Is learning word lists over and over again on a computer going to generalize to being able to find your car in a crowded parking lot at a shopping mall?” asks Dr Snyder.

But forgetting where you parked your car, or the name of your grandson, can be a scary experience. More and more patients are looking for ways to prevent their descent into mental fog.

And so they’re increasingly turning to online cognitive games. “This is an industry that I worry preys on the elderly, preys on a vulnerable population,” says Dr Snyder.

Sweet Spot

William Mansbach, PhD, from Mansbach Health Tools LLC, Simpsonville, Maryland, agrees that the “sweet spot” for the at-home brain training industry is the “worried well” and that in general the industry’s claims far exceed the evidence.

But this may not be the case for those already experiencing memory impairment. His company has developed programs that he says can improve global cognition in these patients in as little as 3 weeks if they practice for 20 minutes, three times a week.

One of his programs — Memory Match — is a cognitive training task that exercises working memory and attention using themed cards. A study discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference earlier this year found that those with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia improved significantly on this test compared to a control group that didn’t receive it. Importantly, says Dr Mansbach, those with more severe dementia did not improve.

In structured interviews following this study, participants in the treatment group pointed to the intervention as a reason their memory improved, according to Dr Mansbach.

He’s proud of the “clear evidence” and “large effect sizes” from the study that suggest that this approach is legitimate.

Patients using his brain training tasks first do a self-assessment to determine at what level to start in order to get maximum benefit, he says. One of his criticisms of other programs is that there are no real assessment of the person doing the training and no concrete idea of what needs improving.

However, while he’s convinced his program works in the short run, long-term benefits are unclear. “We have no idea, and no one does.”

There could well be an important role for cognitive training outside industry, though. Jens Pruessner, PhD, professor, psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, thinks that using this training may help pinpoint patterns that might be clues to the onset of dementia. Continue Reading

n a research project, he and his colleagues are testing PONDER (Prevention of Neurodegenerative Disease in Everyone at Risk), a free online cognitive training program aimed at those aged 40 years and up. Using neuropsychological assessments, researchers are tracking the progress of users to see whether the frequency, intensity, and duration of cognitive training leads to observable changes over time.

“Let’s say that in general, the training effect is such that you improve by 20% over time when you have been doing this task every other week for 6 months,” said Dr Pruessner. “Are those people who only improve by 10% or 5% at risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and eventually dementia?”

So far, the mean age of users is 57 years, which is exactly when age-related cognitive decline begins in those destined to develop dementia. Dr Pruessner notes that dementia begins some 20 years before clinical symptoms become significant.

Perhaps the most well-known of these companies is Lumos Labs in San Francisco, California, whose brain training site, Lumosity, is used by more than 70 million “brain trainers” in 182 countries, the company’s website notes.

The company has a collaborative research initiative, called the Human Cognition Project (HCP), that it says partners with more than 90 collaborators from 40 universities. “Through the HCP, we grant qualified researchers free access to Lumosity’s cognitive training tasks, assessments, research tools, and in some cases, limited access to data on cognitive task performance — helping them conduct larger, faster, and more efficient studies,” the website notes.

Lumosity also has in-house researchers to develop new cognitive training tasks and assessments, provide administration of controlled studies, and study Lumosity gameplay information to enhance the experience, the site notes.

Several publications in peer-reviewed journals have used Lumosity data. Earlier this year, researchers published a paper in Alzheimer’s & Dementia using data from Lumosity’s Memory Match game, which requires visual working memory, to look at individual differences in age-related changes in working memory. They found significant effects of age on baseline scores and lower learning rates. “Online memory games have the potential to identify age-related decline in cognition and to identify subjects at risk for cognitive decline with smaller sample sizes and lower cost than traditional recruitment methods,” the authors concluded.

A randomized trial of nonaction video games from the Lumosity site reported in 2014 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience showed improvements with training in processing speed, attention, and immediate and delayed visual recognition memory in the trained group, but no variation in the control group. Neither group improved in visuospatial working memory or executive control, the researchers report.

“Overall, the current results support the idea that training healthy older adults with non-action video games will enhance some cognitive abilities but not others,” the researchers, with first author Soledad Ballesteros, PhD, Studies on Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Group, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain, concluded.

Multiple emails and telephone messages to Lumosity requesting an interview for this article, sent over several weeks, were not returned.

Personal Trainer for the Brain?

So, at the end of the day, should that 57-year-old patient who is worried about his forgetfulness fork out subscription fees every month to play cognitive games? If it keeps someone mentally active, “why not?” says Dr Belleville.

She points out that people pay a lot of money to join a gym when they could jog for free in the park. “If you have to pay a gym to continue to do your exercises, then pay; it’s worth the money.”

However, she acknowledges that while there’s a good deal of evidence that a certain amount and intensity of physical activity is good for the brain, “when you look at cognitive training, it’s all over the place.”

If you have to pay a gym to continue to continue to do your exercises, then pay; it’s worth the money Dr Sylvie Belleville

And she agrees that it’s not clear whether the training effect goes beyond the task being practiced — or whether it has the same impact as informal training, such as doing crossword puzzles several times a week.

On the other hand, “it’s probably better than doing nothing at all and looking at silly programs on television,” she says. “I think there’s something there, but we need to understand better what the active ingredient is so we can provide good advice to people.”
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