Brain Training for Children and Adults
Home brain training for children and adults includes games, books, movies and other activities that exercise the mind. Similar exercises are being used to achieve objectives as diverse as assisting children with learning disabilities and teaching medical students how to be more professional. But, in order for the brain to work at optimal levels, it must first be well nourished.
It is well known that specific nutrients are needed in order for the neurological system of the fetus to develop normally. Pre-natal supplements are specifically designed to meet the needs of the developing fetus.
The importance of good nutrition for infants and children is something that pediatricians teach parents about. Some doctors recommend nutritional supplements. Others rely on the nutrients available in fortified foods.
The dietary habits of the parents may or may not support the neurological development of the child. Certain foods may actually make it easier to learn, while others make it harder to learn and worsen conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorders.
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup really do make it harder for children to pay attention. In typical breakfast cereals, sugar is one of the top ingredients. Old fashioned oatmeal is still one of the best choices for breakfast. Add some fruit or a little honey and cinnamon for flavoring. Once you have addressed the issue of good nutrition, brain exercise can begin in earnest.
In a recent study conducted in Israel, researchers used the CogniFit Personal Coach Program to evaluate the benefit of working memory and error detection training for university students with and without dyslexia in the area of reading. Both groups showed improvement after 24 sessions, a six month program, but the dyslexic group showed the greatest amount of improvement. The number of words per minute read correctly increased by over 14% after the brain training.
The CogniFit Personal Coach is only one of many techniques being used. Others have proven to be just as successful. Researchers have found that auditory (sound) programs enhance verbal memory in patients with schizophrenia.
Benefits have been seen in treating epilepsy and traumatic brain injuries. These programs are being used to help people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Will the average person or child benefit from these kinds of in-home programs? There is no doubt about it. When combined with a healthy diet, brain training can improve anyone’s memory and make learning easier.
Research links: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19779625?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=11 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19745022?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=14 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19731397?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=16