Due to the reality that Alzheimer's is the only disease among the top 10 in the U.S. causes of death to have no cure, no treatments, nor pathways for slowing down progression, one of the questions often asked in my Music & Memory presentations is, "What can I do to help slow down the onset if I have one of the genes responsible for Alzheimer's?" After explaining that testing positive for one of those genes does not automatically mean one will ever show symptoms of the disease itself, I am also happy to inform my audience of a few health tips learned via symposiums or conferences from top neurologists and clinical professionals over the years:
1. Exercise 30+ minutes daily with plentiful cardio to keep your body and blood moving!
2. Eat a healthy diet (Mediterranean style) consisting of a colorful palette high in antioxidants, omega-3, amino acids, folic acids, et cetera.
3. Yes, enjoy that glass of red wine! Highest in antioxidants and resveratrol are pinot noir (number 1), merlot, malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, and shiraz. A fabulous tasting "brain cocktail" combines 4 ounces of cabernet with 4 ounces of straight pomegranate juice on ice - what a delicious dessert!
4. Avoid sugar... I know it's incredibly difficult, but sugar is a toxin to our brains and increases risk for Type 2 diabetes.
5. Keep your brain active with stimulating games like Sodoku, crossword puzzles, trivia, and fun apps that challenge your brain!
Here's our friend, George, to provide more information on several fantastic apps that will keep your brain active and healthier.
This is the technology generation, and almost all of us have a tablet or a smartphone. So why not use these devices to your advantage? Use one of the various brain-training apps and improve your brain health anytime and anywhere. The four best apps that help train your brain include:
Lumosity is not only the oldest brain training app, but also the most popular one used by more than 85 million people across the world. The games inside this app help you work on core cognitive abilities like problem solving, memory, processing speed, attention, and adaptable thinking. Once you download this app, you will be asked to give a brain fitness test. This test is mainly done to show your standing against the others in your age bracket. The developers of Lumosity strongly believe that just one session of three games daily will help boost your mental skills. Available for both Android and iOS devices, this is a free app.
One of the highlights of this app is that the games inside it are developed with expert inputs from Yale and Cambridge. Both Android and iOS devices can download this free app. Peak offers you games that emphasize problem solving, coordination, emotional control, memory, attention, language, creativity, and mental agility. You will also get your very own virtual Coach, who will go through your results and give tips on how you can improve. Playing games on Peak will never feel monotonous because it offers you enough variety.
If you want a brain training app that deals with practical everyday activities, then Elevate is perfect for you. Most of the games deal with everyday tasks such as calculating a tip or writing an email to your loved ones. This app is known to improve your communication as well as your critical thinking skills. In fact, a study found that people who used Elevate improved their performance by 69 percent as opposed to the non-users.
4. Brain Fitness Pro
Brain Fitness Pro is one of the best brain training apps in the market. The focus of this app is on improving your IQ as well as your memory. This is a paid app, but the amazing user interface totally makes it worth it. Developers of Brain Fitness Pro guarantee that you will see great results, when you use this app continuously for 20 days, and spend at least 30 minutes on it daily.
Download these brain training apps on your smartphone, and you be the judge of whether they are truly effective or not!
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