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4 Exercises To Sharpen Your Brain
Think of your brain as a muscle: It gets stronger with exercise. Your everyday mental tasks are like walking, but how about a real workout? Try these simple exercises to boost your brain power and clear away the fog of forgetfulness.
1. Use your non-dominant hand
Tackling new tasks improves brain capacity in younger people and has a restorative effect on mental faculties that are declining. Boost your brain power right now by performing everyday activities with your non-dominant hand. If you're right-handed, use your left hand to eat, drink, comb your hair, and brush your teeth. Try writing your name with your non-dominant hand or put your mouse pad on the other side of the keyboard.
Aluminum And Alzheimers Disease
Large amounts of aluminum are usually found in the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's. This has led others to think that the disease is caused by using aluminum cooking pots and pans or ingesting oral antacids or antiperspirants containing aluminum.
It's a nice thought but one with no scientific basis. Professor Luigi Amaducci of the Department of Neurologic & Psychiatric Sciences at the University Of Florence said other patients with Alzheimer's don't have aluminum plaques in the brain which rules out this metal as the cause of the disease.
"There has been some concern in recent years that dietary aluminum may lead to Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia in older people. This concern arises from the fact that greater levels of aluminum are found in brain tissue of people dying from Alzheimer's disease than in brain tissue from people dying from other causes," according to Dr. Myron Winick, director of the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in The Columbia Encyclopedia of Nutrition.
Be A Brain Scientist
"To think is to practice brain chemistry." - Deepak Chopra
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, I'm no brain scientist¦"? Quite recently I had lunch with a friend while he was on a break from work. When he ordered a beer I raised my eyebrows in mock astonishment. He replied "It's not like I'm performing brain surgery later."
But we are all brain scientists. Our thoughts really do affect our brain chemistry. And we can be like surgeons in our ability to carefully excise negative thoughts from our gray matter.
Our patterns of thought are simply habits, but they are grounded in rich neural circuitry. Like deer in the woods, our thoughts form paths that will most likely be retread unless we consciously set out to find a new way. The first step to that new way is to be aware that thoughts can either be unconscious or conscious.
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Brain Injuries And Delusional Disorders
A delusion is a false belief with three basic characteristics: the person who holds it genuinely and deeply believes it is true; it is demonstrably false; the affected person does not waver in his or her opinion even when presented with solid contradictory evidence. It is markedly different from either a lie or a mistaken belief that changes when corrected. When a person suffers from persistent false beliefs that interfere with his or her daily functioning, he or she may be diagnosed with a delusional disorder.
These disorders can have many different underlying causes: genetic conditions, infections that affect the brain, progressive mental illness, and more. In many cases, doctors are unable to determine exactly why an individual patient has developed his or her symptoms. A certain percentage of these disorders are even caused by brain injuries. Whether the damage is related to a blow to the head, a forceful movement of the head that causes the brain to hit the walls of the skull, or prolonged oxygen deprivation, the consequences can be devastating.
Types of Delusions
A head injury can lead to a wide variety of psychiatric conditions “ including a wide array of different delusional disorders. The symptoms will depend on the location and the extent of harm done. Although there is still much to learn about the brain, scientists have located certain regions that seem to be connected to different kinds of brain functions. Despite this level of knowledge, the long-term consequences of brain damage can be very difficult to predict, especially the psychological symptoms.
For over a century, psychological researchers have been observing and recording the symptoms of different kinds of delusional disorders. By now, they have identified many different patterns of false beliefs that can plague the victims of these disorders. Some of the more common examples include:
Persecutory “ This is the most common kind of delusion associated with brain injuries. A persecutory delusion causes its victim to believe that some person or organization is exploiting, mistreating, or planning against him or her. He or she will interpret random or benign occurrences as evidence of some kind of plot or hatred directed at him or her.
Grandiose “ A grandiose belief is the conviction that the patient has some ability, talent, power, or identity that he or she does not. This can include a conviction that one has supernatural powers, or that one is a celebrity of some kind. Sometimes people with this condition believe that they are the true creator of a famous object or event, but are not receiving fair credit.
Somatic “ These are beliefs that focus on the body and its functioning. A person with a somatic delusion may believe that parts of his or her body are non-functional or even non-existent, or that they are suffering from some kind of disease or infestation, or that their appearance is somehow unusual or deformed.
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