Cognitive Exercises Can Help Delay the Onset of Alzheimer’s

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Research on Alzheimer’s Disease mentioned in The Wall Street Journal reveals how cognitive exercises delay the onset by rewiring the brain to function more accurately. These exercises are clinically proven to improve brain activity and are provided by BrainHQ, a product of Posit Science, backed by published studies on dementia prevention and on improving standard cognitive measures in people with pre-dementia.

Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science and developer of BrainHQ explains that “the brain is like any other organ in your body, and just like you can do all kinds of things to change your heart health, you can also improve your brain health by regular exercises. Ordinary people, physicians and scientists are now recognizing that the brain can be improved.” 

BrainHQ is a website based on brain training exercises that enhances one’s memory and speed. It can be considered a personal gym for the brain including tailor-made exercises for individuals who wish to strengthen their mind. It aims to build brain training exercises that can rewire a human brain, ultimately improving cognitive performance to make brain information processing faster. 

Dr. Mahncke elaborates on the cause of Alzheimer’s, “A protein called amyloid forms these sticky masses in your brain and that’s what causes Alzheimer’s, and if we can get rid of that we can cure this disease. But the drug industry has worked on that and had a really hard time to come up with anything,” Mahncke continues. 

“That brings us back to the basics that if the drugs are not going to be very effective, what can we do in our lives to make our brain healthier? And it’s become very clear that there’s an important role of physical exercise, diet, and brain training. If we engage the brain in the right way, if we make it faster, more accurate, that makes one more resistant to the onset of dementia.” 

Although Alzheimer’s is most commonly diagnosed in old age, a person begins to experience symptoms years before it is identified. Therefore, it is essential for those who have a history of dementia in their family to take up cognitive exercises to fill up the “Brain Reverse or Cognitive Reserve” that saves up useful information gathered from the early years. 

Heather Campbell, a 62 year old user of BrainHQ and piano teacher says, “I appreciate the need to keep my brain actively engaged as a step toward avoiding dementia. I believe that completing my fourth degree this year at my age contributes to that engagement. However, my teaching, administrative positions, and degrees do not challenge my brain the same way BrainHQ challenges it. I find that BrainHQ uniquely sharpens my thinking, speeds up my brain processing, and helps with short-term memory.”

Kim Drury, 60 years old, another user adds, “My experience has been quite positive.  Besides improvement in areas, I feel that my memory is exercised frequently with many of the ‘games.’ It is also interesting in drawing my attention to areas that I have strengths in or could use more practice and experience. To me it is part of a healthy approach to my brain health, which also includes trying to eat well, exercise, and outdoor time.”

Dr. Mahncke also highlights ongoing research at McGill University, “They are specifically looking to see if BrainHQ training improves the level of chemical neuromodulators — in particular, acetylcholine, in your brain. A big question we have is if we are able to make it control its own state. Acetylcholine’s an incredibly important part of brain function and as you lose it, you get Alzheimer’s. There are some findings indicating that if we do brain training, we can actually produce acetylcholine and other chemicals in the brain.”

BrainHQ has 29 online exercises that workout attention, brain speed, memory, social skills, navigation, and intelligence with an option of monthly and yearly subscriptions. Although brain exercises are highly encouraged for people prone to getting Alzheimer’s, it is not limited to them. Everyone and anyone can sharpen their brain and this possibility is now a click away!


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About the Author

By Gurleen Aulakh

Health Editor

health@excal.on.ca

Gurleen Aulakh (she/her) is in the English program at York University. She loves reading, watching movies, and definitely runs on coffee and music. Gurleen has a soft spot for people who take a minute to look at the sky, because it is never not beautiful. Writing for her is a sacred practice as she believes that despite it being a solitary activity, it never makes her feel alone. She admires people who create beautiful melodies, rhymes, and paintings as art will forever remain a safe space.

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