Mental Attitude: Video Games are Good!
Scientists have developed a video game-based training strategy called NeuroRacer that could “repair” cognitive decline in older individuals. The 3D video game challenges cognitive control by providing a series of distractions on the screen that the players must try to avoid while driving. After playing the game, the study participants showed a dramatic increase in their multi-tasking abilities. These improved abilities continued to last for six months without any “booster” training on the game. EEG scans showed increased measurements in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, the area responsible for problem solving and complex thought.
Nature, September 2013
Health Alert: Young Adults and Stroke.
Hospital discharges in the United States for strokes among young adults (15-44 years old) increased at least 23% from 1996 to 2008. Lifestyle risk factors for stroke include obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels.
Neurology, September 20133
Diet: Vitamin D Deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with osteomalacia, osteopenia, osteoporosis, and risk of fracture. Emerging evidence also points to increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Good sources of vitamin D include sunlight, cod liver oil, salmon, mushrooms, mackerel, tuna fish, milk, orange juice, and supplements.
British Journal of Nutrition, September 2013
Exercise: Obesity and Post Heart Attack Mortality.
A study of French heart attack survivors found that obesity (BMI =35 kg/m²) is associated with the largest risk of absolute mortality five years later (+65%).
European Society of Cardiology, August 2013
Chiropractic: Every Inch!
For every inch your head is forward, your upper back and neck muscles have to hold an extra 10 lbs (~4.5 kg), as they have to work harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping to your chest. This also forces the sub-occipital muscles (they raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the three sub-occipital nerves. This nerve compression may cause headaches at the base of the skull or mimic sinus (frontal) headaches.
Kapandji, Physiology of the Joints, Volume III
Wellness/Prevention: Sleep and Your Brain.
Sleep increases the reproduction of the cells (oligodendrocytes) that form myelin. Myelin is the insulating material found on nerve cell projections in the brain and spinal cord that’s responsible for allowing electrical impulses to move from cell to cell, similar to the insulation around electrical wires.
University of Wisconsin, September 2013