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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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When looking at drug use, drug abuse, drug dependency and drug addiction, one finds that there are many divergent opinions about these terms and how they identify the drug-using behaviors of the public. Dr. Alan Leshner, the Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse for the U.S. Government, states: "There is a unique disconnect between scientific facts and the public's perception of drug addiction,"
From a lecture in March, 1998 at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Leshner explained how brain function is modified by drug use and how that change persists after an individual stops taking drugs. Addiction also has to be recognized as a result of many bio-behavioral factors.
Dr. Leshner said a user does not have control over the change when voluntary drug use becomes a compulsive addiction. He likens the change to a flip of a switch, although the change may be a result of opponent processes where changes have accumulated over time. Regardless, Dr. Leshner believes it is important that people understand that once addicted, a person is literally in a different brain state.
Anyone that has known and witnessed the changes in behavior and ethics in a person caught in the thralls of addiction can see the declining spiral of personal care and ethics, work ethics, emotional stability and generally, a feeling that one hardly recognizes the addicted person as being the same individual as they were before the drug use.
One very important point to know is that any drug use may set off these destructive behaviors in an individual and that using drugs "recreationally" is playing Russian Roulette with one's life. The effects of these "poisons" on the brain and nervous system are always destructive, but the timeline of when the effects will be obvious varies from immediately to, sometimes, after years of "casual" use.
The scientist's say that one of the tasks of treatment is to revert the brain to its original state or repairing the damage that these poisons can do. Some scientist believe that this can be done by introducing other drugs, then called medicines, into the delicate brain chemistry of someone suffering from drug addiction. That is what National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) is doing now as it begins to design new medications. "We have molecular targets," Dr. Leshner said." We don't need serendipity." Serendipity is defined as "a natural gift for making useful discoveries by accident."
However, don't be fooled by the scientist since they have yet to discover any medications that restore a person to full and, more importantly, enthusiastic living. These "medicines" are always a tradeoff in giving up some of the beauties of life to keep the addict from using a more destructive drug. For a total cure, one should pursue getting the original poisons out of the body and letting the body's natural repair mechanism restore the person to his original, functional and loving self.
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