NeuroNation https://blog.neuronation.com Wed, 01 Jun 2022 05:23:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://blog.neuronation.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/cropped-favicon-512-32x32.png NeuroNation https://blog.neuronation.com 32 32 On World Children’s Day: Interview with Swiss school teacher Léo Pittoni https://blog.neuronation.com/en/on-world-childrens-day-interview-with-swiss-school-teacher-leo-pittoni/ Wed, 01 Jun 2022 05:16:01 +0000 https://blog.neuronation.com/?p=23424 Dear Reader, As you probably know, International Children’s Day is celebrated on the 1st of June in big parts of […]

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Dear Reader,

As you probably know, International Children’s Day is celebrated on the 1st of June in big parts of the world. The idea behind this holiday is to raise public awareness of the welfare, protection, and rights of the youngest members of our society.

Science, of course, also plays an essential role in this. Researchers and teachers around the world are studying the effects of mindfulness and meditation [1], physical activity [2], and cognitive training [3] on children’s well-being. We want to support this important movement and give the necessary attention to people who work for children every day. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Léo Pittoni, a Swiss school teacher who uses NeuroNation brain training with his students. We would like to share it with you. 

NeuroNation: Mr. Pittoni, why did you decide to use the NeuroNation training?
L. Pittoni:
NeuroNation works in the browser regardless of the operating system. Since our students are equipped with Windows tablets, this is ideal for us. The simple, clear interface, which is absolutely clear for the children to use, is also convincing. The exercises are varied and visually appealing. The direct feedback during practice is also clearly understandable and motivating for the pupils.

NeuroNation: What successes did you hope for?
L. Pittoni:
Concentration, memory, speed (etc.) are important skills in everyday school life. There are no exercises or methods in classical teaching materials to train these skills in a targeted way. NeuroNation is ideally suited for this purpose. We hoped for a positive influence on these competencies.

NeuroNation: How often and in which environment was the training used by the pupils?
L. Pittoni:
The students trained with NeuroNation once or several times a week for about 3 months. They could do this at school or at home. Training with NeuroNation” was a weekly homework assignment for all students.

NeuroNation: How did the students find the training?
L. Pittoni:
The students liked the training very much. Of course, the fact that the training is done digitally on a tablet is also motivating. They also liked the fact that the training is very playful, for many it was more like a game than homework. All the children enjoyed training with NeuroNation very much.

NeuroNation: What positive effects did you or the pupils notice?
L. Pittoni:
All the pupils made progress with the NeuroNation exercises and were able to improve. In everyday life, no specific findings could be made regarding memory or concentration, as we do not empirically examine this.
However, it was good for the students to focus on the exercises for a quarter of an hour during the training and to direct 100% of their attention to the exercises.
It also gave the students an understanding that these skills (such as memory) can be trained, just as mathematical skills etc. need to be practiced.

NeuroNation: What would you recommend to other parents, teachers, or educators?
L. Pittoni:
I would definitely recommend NeuroNation. Children love to work with it and are motivated thanks to the playful exercises. I am convinced that the training has a good influence on the trained competencies.

NeuroNation: Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Pittoni.

We hope you have been inspired by this reading. Researchers also keep delighting us with good news. For example, scientists at Yale University studied the effect of a five-minute warm-up brain training session on the learning success of schoolchildren [3]. The result: the trained children performed better than their comparison group both immediately after the session and after a 4-month training course.
It is interesting that the observed improvement effect is more pronounced than it is known from studies that have investigated the influence of personal learning support by a tutor. These findings may suggest that brain training can be even more effective in boosting children’s school performance than individual tutoring sessions.

Warming up the brain and staying on top of things

Of course, let’s not forget the observed warm-up effect: the human brain can be better prepared for the cognitive challenges ahead with just 5 minutes of brain training. So not only your children but also you can warm up your mind and get fit in just 5 minutes before an important task that requires your full concentration and brainpower.

Feel the study-proven effect yourself and get your brain up to speed – with brain training from NeuroNation, you have a reliable partner at your side.

Sources:

[1] Altner, N., Erlinghagen, M., Körber, D. et al. Achtsamkeit in den Grundschulen einer ganzen Stadt fördern – ein NRW-Landesmodellprojekt. Gr Interakt Org 49, 157–166 (2018).

[2] Stück, M. Wissenschaftliche Grundlagen zum Yoga mit Kindern und Jugendlichen. Schibri Verlag, 104 Seiten. ISBN: 978-3-86863-066-4.

[3] Wexler, B. E. et al. Training: Immediate and far transfer to academic skills in children. Scientific Reports 6, (2016).

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Why Dreams Are Important for Health https://blog.neuronation.com/en/why-dreams-are-important-for-health/ Tue, 09 Nov 2021 16:35:05 +0000 https://blog.neuronation.com/?p=23089 For years, scientists have wondered why almost all animals – including humans – sleep for quite a long time every […]

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For years, scientists have wondered why almost all animals – including humans – sleep for quite a long time every day, even though being unconscious is a great disadvantage for survival. Shouldn’t this need have been displaced or at least re-placed by evolution long ago? A team of researchers at the University of Tsukuba (Japan) has been studying this question and, it seems, has found an answer.

Promising discovery

While we sleep, in addition to the processes of “synaptic cleansing”, which is the reduction of unimportant connections (synapses) between brain cells and regeneration, another process takes place in our heads: an intensive flow of red blood cells.

This process takes place exclusively during the so-called Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM) phase. Usually, the process of dreaming also takes place during this phase. In adults, the REM phase accounts for about 20 to 25% of the total sleep time. 

“We were surprised by the results,” explains Professor Hayashi. “There was a massive flow of red blood cells through the brain capillaries during REM sleep, but no difference between non-REM sleep and the awake state, showing that REM sleep is a unique state”.

Considering that a decreased blood flow in the brain and shorter periods of REM sleep are correlated with the development of Alzheimer’s dementia disease, in which plaques are decreasing the ability of the brain cells to forward information, it may be interesting to investigate whether increased blood flow in brain capillaries during REM sleep is responsible for the process of cleaning the brain from such plaques and other waste products.

This study lays the groundwork for future investigations, which could ultimately lead to the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

Prevention instead of treatment – with NeuroNation

If you don’t want to wait for future discoveries, but want to actively do something against neurodegeneration now, we recommend reaching for your brain training regularly. Studies show that cognitive training can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia by up to 30%.

Over 20 million people around the world have already discovered NeuroNation brain training and put their trust in us. NeuroNation’s personalized and scientifically proven exercises, together with proper lifestyle, form a reliable foundation for a long and fulfilling life.

At NeuroNation you are in good company: Researchers from Australia to Canada use NeuroNation in innovative studies to improve mental and cognitive health.

START TRAINING

Sources:

Chia-Jung Tsai, Takeshi Nagata, Chih-Yao Liu, Takaya Suganuma, Takeshi Kanda, Takehiro Miyazaki, Kai Liu, Tsuyoshi Saitoh, Hiroshi Nagase, Michael Lazarus, Kaspar E. Vogt, Masashi Yanagisawa, Yu Hayashi. Cerebral capillary blood flow upsurge during REM sleep is mediated by A2a receptors. Cell Reports, 2021; 36 (7): 109558.

Edwards, Jerri & Xu, Huiping & Clark, Daniel & Ross, Lesley & Unverzagt, Frederick. (2016). THE ACTIVE STUDY: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED AND WHAT IS NEXT? COGNITIVE TRAINING REDUCES INCIDENT DEMENTIA ACROSS TEN YEARS. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 12. P212. 10.1016/j.jalz.2016.06.373.

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7 tips for a happy brain – and life https://blog.neuronation.com/en/7-tips-for-a-happy-brain-and-life/ Tue, 09 Nov 2021 15:48:30 +0000 https://blog.neuronation.com/?p=23076 1. Make sure you eat a balanced diet. Did you know that although the human brain is only 2% of […]

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1. Make sure you eat a balanced diet.

Did you know that although the human brain is only 2% of the body’s mass, it requires over 20% of the oxygen and nutrients we take in for brain nutrition? As a general rule, you don’t need expensive supplements and superfoods, just make sure you eat a balanced diet that is as unprocessed as possible. Many researchers recommend the Mediterranean diet as a rule of thumb for a healthy eating plan.

2. Remember that the brain is part of the body. 

Activities that exercise your body can also help sharpen your brain: Physical activity promotes neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, at any age!

3. Set yourself courageous goals. 

If you have completed your formal training, keep learning. If you have become too comfortable in a job, look for new tasks and responsibilities. Our brain develops with the right challenges and encouragement.

4. Explore and travel. 

Familiarising yourself with new places forces you to pay more attention to your surroundings and be more mindful. Your brain will enjoy this variety.

5. Develop and maintain stimulating friendships. 

We are social beings and need social interactions. This is also good for our brain and even reduces the likelihood of developing dementia in old age.

6. Laugh! 

Brainy jokes and slightly more complex humour, full of twists and surprises, are what our neurons enjoy the most. Even the anticipation of fun and joy is a balm for our brain.

7. Decide to act and always give your brain the activation it needs.

Stress and anxiety – either triggered by external events or by your own thoughts – weaken your performance. Practice positive, action-oriented thinking and decide to act until it becomes your default behaviour. 

With NeuroNation’s brain training, you already have everything you need. You can think of it somewhat like a personal trainer at the gym: The digital NeuroNation brain coach recognises your strengths and potentials and creates a personalised training plan tailored to you.

Proven effective and scientifically tested exercises from NeuroNation, together with the right lifestyle, form a strong basis for your long and fulfilling life.

At NeuroNation you are in good company: Researchers from Australia to Canada use NeuroNation in innovative studies to improve mental and cognitive health.

START TRAINING
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The science behind NeuroNation https://blog.neuronation.com/en/science-behind-neuronation/ Mon, 01 Jun 2020 15:13:00 +0000 https://blog.neuronation.com/?p=16119 Proven and distinguished: With the help of the FU Berlin, the scientific foundation of NeuroNation was laid. We have remained […]

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Proven and distinguished: With the help of the FU Berlin, the scientific foundation of NeuroNation was laid. We have remained true to our roots – through collaborative studies with partners from research and clinics, the latest research findings are continuously incorporated into the brain training exercises so that our users receive the best training. NeuroNation is currently involved in some of the largest trials worldwide on healthy aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Development and research is carried out by our team in Berlin with partners from Australia to Canada.

Already in 2013, NeuroNation was awarded the Leonardo Prize by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the AOK. . NeuroNation received the prize for its contribution to the advancement of the cognitive abilities and mental health indicators of its users.

Your brain is adaptable

While brain training is a very modern topic, physical fitness is already highly regarded in our society. For a long time now, there have been fitness studios aimed at people of all ages. It is a general consensus that physical exercise leads to a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life. However, the situation is somewhat different with mental training. How to achieve optimal training here is the subject of current research. According to current knowledge, the brain reaches its highest level of comprehension and performance at the age of 16-25. From this age, mental fitness decreases. The good news is that you can actually do something to keep yourself fit because your brain is adaptable. Scientifically speaking, this adaptability is called “neuroplasticity”.

Targeting the right areas of the brain

Games and puzzles like Sudoku or crossword puzzles offer a simple way to stay mentally fit. But science already knows far more effective methods to increase mental fitness.
Modern brain training does not only activate a certain part of the brain like a crossword puzzle but many different areas, such as memory or attention. This can not only lead to a general improvement in performance in exercises, but also in everyday life. These so-called “transfer effects” can usually only be achieved with an adaptive and thoroughly developed training plan. The exercises of NeuroNation are based on the current state of research.

Personalized training

There are a number of points that good brain training must include in order to improve your everyday performance in the long term: Above all, your brain must neither be over- nor under-challenged, since in both cases your training success will fail. Thus, all NeuroNation exercises always begin simple and develop towards a higher complexity after a series of correct results. Maximum effectiveness is only achieved if you train at your personal performance limit. That is why the training is designed to start each day at your current appropriate level.

Frequency is key

As with any form of practice, consistency and continuity are the keys to success in the brain and mental training. “A rolling stone gathers no moss” is a well-known saying. That is why NeuroNation offers a large number of playful exercises. This variety is also important from a scientific point of view: If you constantly solve the same tasks (e.g. Sudoku), you will learn to perform them quickly but will strain your brain less and less over time.

In order for the brain to restructure itself, it constantly needs new challenges. And for additional motivation, you can even train together with friends or family. Brain training is suitable for people of almost any age.

Our effectiveness

A long-term study by MSH Medical School Hamburg and the University of Würzburg has shown that NeuroNation exercises performed from home, without instruction and supervision, are effective.

The researchers recruited participants via the internet and newspaper advertisements to a training study, in which the participants were to train on various NeuroNation exercises from the comfort of their own homes. The participants were divided into two groups: the training group practiced on NeuroNation memory exercises, whereas the control group practiced verbal knowledge. Altogether over 170 participants finished the study.

After only 21 training sessions, the training group improved memory and also other cognitive functions, such as processing speed.

Even more exciting are the everyday-life results. The training group also reported significantly less cognitive failures, like forgetting appointments, forgetting names, getting easily distracted, and difficulties in making decisions.

Leading scientist Prof. Dr. Tilo Strobach commented on the results:

“Since the participants were randomly assigned to the training and control groups, and since we also made sure that the performances of both groups were equal before training, we can conclude that the performance differences after training can be attributed to the training intervention.”

Our scientific partnerships

Cooperation with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany)

Chemotherapy patients often complain about cognitive impairments after their treatment. Neuropsychological studies have confirmed this problem. NeuroNation is cooperating with the Clinic for Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin in Berlin to study whether chemotherapy-related cognitive impairments can be reduced with brain training exercises from NeuroNation.

Study with Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany)

What effect does training various cognitive skills have on school performance in elementary school students? And which role do motivational factors play in the success of the training? In a study with Goethe University, researchers are studying whether a four-week training program with 21 training sessions involving working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility tasks can improve children’s reading and math performance. Using playful elements such as a cover story, the effect of motivation on training and transfer success is also being studied.

Scientific study with the MSH Medical School Hamburg (Germany)

Brain training’s influence on various cognitive skills is currently being studied in collaboration with the MSH Medical School Hamburg under the direction of Professor Strobach. Further details will be released after the study is completed.

Study with Queen’s University (Canada)

Schizophrenia is a complex illness that can manifest in both positive and negative symptoms. For effective treatment, it is essential to understand which techniques and strategies will be most effective for patients. Scientists in the Centre for Neuroscience Studies and the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Canada are carrying out a study to determine how brain training should be implemented to create changes in EEG patterns. Patients with schizophrenia display typical EEG patterns when performing certain cognitive tasks. The study is researching whether it is more effective if training is carried out in multiple 2-minute sessions or as a single 10-minute session.

Study with University Hospital Cologne (Germany)

Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by cognitive decline. In a study done in cooperation with the University Hospital in Cologne, patients who had not yet experienced any cognitive deficits received intense working memory training over the course of 5 weeks. The training aimed to stabilize their cognitive abilities in the long-term.

Study with Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Demographic change and digitalization both mean that older professionals experience ever-greater cognitive challenges. Do older participants benefit from cognitive training in the same way that younger participants do? Are there differences in the types of tasks, or correlations to working time? In collaboration with students from Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Gerrit Hirschfeld, professor of quantitative methods, is attempting to answer these questions using selected data from the NeuroNation program.

Study with the University of Prague (Czech Republic)

A study conducted in collaboration with the University of Prague is trying to find out to what extent brain training can make a positive contribution to the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by a disturbed relationship to food consumption. In recent years, scientists’ interest has begun to focus on the neuronal roots of the illness. The study is being carried out in the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure (Italy).

Study with Bielefeld University (Germany)

Ming-Yang (M.Sc.) is a doctoral student at Bielefeld University and is studying attention span in athletes. The scientist is particularly interested in finding out to what extent the attention spans of professional and amateur athletes differ. NeuroNation training is being used to observe these differences.

Study with the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum (Germany)

What effect does computer-based verbal fluency training have on verbal and executive function in the elderly? Bianca Spelter, a speech therapy student at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum is investigating this question for her bachelor’s thesis using selected exercises from the NeuroNation program. Her work is being supervised by Prof. Dr. Sascha Sommer, dean of the applied health sciences department, whose work focuses on cognitive neuropsychology. Details.

Scientific study with the Hertie Institute in Tübingen (Germany)

What can people living with Parkinson’s disease achieve with brain training? This question is being researched by the working group for clinical neurodegeneration at the Hertie Institute in Tübingen under the direction of Prof. Dr. Berg. Alongside physical exercise, regular cognitive training is carried out using the NeuroNation app.

Scientific cooperation with a neurological therapy center

What type of brain training is most helpful for patients with neurological disorders or those who have suffered a stroke? Under the guidance of Doctor Wolfgang Klein, who is researching technological solutions as a part of neurorehabilitation within the scope of the EU project Rehab@Home, NeuroNation is exploring some innovative new approaches.

Rehabilitational use in cooperation with a health insurance provider

The health insurance provider Deutsche BKK makes it possible for their customers to use NeuroNation training in the course of their rehabilitation. Brain training plays an important role in rehabilitation after a stroke. Effectiveness is evaluated using tests before and after the training takes place.

Maintenance and improvement of cognitive fitness in the elderly

Studies show the importance of regular mental activity in advanced age. For this reason, the Bremer Heimstiftung, a foundation for seniors, makes use of the NeuroNation app in its nursing homes. Initial results show that brain training is extremely popular.

Scientific studies on working memory training

What effect does regular cognitive training with NeuroNation have on working memory? The division of experimental psychology and neuropsychology, under the direction of Professor Niedeggen, is attempting to answer this question. The results show that visual working memory, in particular, improved significantly.

Matriculation project on the effectiveness of brain training

In her matriculation project, high school student Ladina Meier of Bündner Kantonschule Chur compared the effectiveness of various types of brain training. She was supervised by Marcel Liechti. The results demonstrated the superiority of NeuroNation’s training.

At NeuroNation you are in good company: Researchers from Australia to Canada use NeuroNation in innovative studies to improve mental and cognitive health.

START TRAINING
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Bulletproof Brain Training: Study proves effectiveness of NeuroNation Premium https://blog.neuronation.com/en/bulletproof-brain-training-study-proves-effectiveness-of-neuronation-premium/ Sun, 26 Apr 2020 00:53:00 +0000 http://wp13402920.server-he.de/?p=1937 Several studies have shown that cognitive functions – including memory, attention, multitasking – can be trained. Most of these studies […]

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Several studies have shown that cognitive functions – including memory, attention, multitasking – can be trained.

Most of these studies were performed under very controlled conditions in a lab in the presence of a scientist. Therefore, it has been under debate, whether brain training, exercised from your cozy home, is truly effective.

To prove the effectiveness of home-based training, a group of researchers from the Medical School of Hamburg and the University of Würzburg in Germany teamed up and designed a bulletproof study.

Just on time for Christmas, we are happy and very proud to present the results. The team around Prof. Dr. Strobach could finally prove – with high significance – the effectiveness of NeuroNation premium brain training is also strong without supervision and from the calm of your home.

The study

The researchers recruited participants via internet and newspaper advertisements to a training study, in which the participants were to train on various NeuroNation exercises from the comfort of their own homes. The participants were divided into two groups: the training group practiced on NeuroNation memory exercises, whereas the control group practiced verbal knowledge. Altogether over 170 participants finished the study.

After only 21 training sessions, the training group improved memory and also other cognitive functions, such as processing speed.

Even more exciting are the everyday-life results. The training group also reported significantly less cognitive failures, like forgetting appointments, forgetting names, getting easily distracted, and difficulties in making decisions.

Leading scientist Prof. Dr. Tilo Strobach commented on the results:

“Since the participants were randomly assigned to the training and control groups, and since we also made sure that the performances of both groups were equal before training, we can conclude that the performance differences after training can be attributed to the training intervention.”

The results of this study provide new evidence, that you are doing the right step by training with NeuroNation. We dedicate our full focus to make sure, that your time is well invested and the results are significant. Gift yourself a healthy brain for Christmas and start your NeuroNation Premium Training today. The effects will be noticeable soon – promised (and proven)!

Start training

Sources:

1: Strobach, T. & Huestegge, L. (2017). Evaluating the effectiveness of commercial brain game training with working-memory tasks. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement.

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Training changes the structure of the brain https://blog.neuronation.com/en/training-changes-the-structure-of-the-brain/ Sun, 23 Feb 2020 09:00:00 +0000 http://wp13402920.server-he.de/?p=810 For a long science thought that after the natural development in childhood, the only change in the brain’s structure later […]

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For a long science thought that after the natural development in childhood, the only change in the brain’s structure later in life would be the loss of brain cells and weakening of connections between the cells.The only direction for our brain performance after we celebrate our 25th birthday shall be decrease.

Great news shook up the scientific world, as in 2004 researchers showed that motor exercises, such as learning to juggle, produce structural changes in those brain regions that are activated during motor movements. The brain adapted to the challenges of catching and throwing many balls at once by increasing connections to become better and that task. But what happens when you challenge your brain with more complex tasks, like NeuroNation brain games. Neuroscientists could recently show how your brain develops after cognitive activities and why training improves the brain’s basic architecture.

How does our Brain work?

The brain consists mainly from grey and white matter. Grey matter is formed by brain’s nerve cells, the neurons. The Neurons are responsible for information processing in the brain. White matter consists of the fibers that connect the cell bodies from different brain regions, and it plays a crucial role in the transfer of information from one part of the brain to another.

Changes in the brain’s structure

Recent studies show that spatial navigation or language training of only a couple of months expanded the volume of gray matter and therefore produced more substance for cognitive processing. For example, if more neurons are created, you can see a thickening of the gray matter. If the thickening occurs in the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, the increase in gray matter volume can be perceived as improved memory functions.

Brain Training activities also showed an increase of white matter. Already three weeks of working memory training increased the insulation around the fiber connections (like rubber around an electric cable) making the connections more solid. This means that information transfer throughout the brain became faster and more precise. This leads to improved cooperation and networking between different brain regions.

What does it mean for me?

Such improvements have strong behavioral benefits. For example being better able to focus on a specific task longer, switch from one task to another (e.g. finishing that email, you began before a call interrupted you) and also to remember, what you wanted to do or put on your shopping list. Therefore, brain training restructures the brain towards more efficient cognitive functioning.

Experience the good feeling of a focused mind and start your training today. It’s your time that counts.

Start training

Sources:

[1] Draganski, B. et al. Neuroplasticity: changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature 427, 311–312 (2004).

[2] Scholz, J. et al. Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nature Neuroscience 12, 1370–1371 (2009).

[3] Wenger, E. et al. Cortical thickness changes following spatial navigation training in adulthood and aging. NeuroImage 59, 3389-3397 (2012).

[4] Mårtensson, J. et al. Growth of language-related brain areas after foreign language learning. NeuroImage 63, 240-244 (2012).

[5] Takeuchi, H. et al. Training of working memory impacts structural connectivity. The Journal of Neuroscience 30, 3297-3303 (2010).

[6] Salminen, T. et al. Increased integrity of white matter pathways after dual n-back training. NeuroImage 133, 244-250 (2016).

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Coffee against Alzheimer’s? Scientists show strong effects https://blog.neuronation.com/en/coffee-against-alzheimers-scientists-show-strong-effects/ Fri, 27 Dec 2019 22:56:00 +0000 http://wp13402920.server-he.de/?p=2184 Pardon? Yes, you read correctly. A new study by Indiana University proved: caffeine can reduce the risk of dementia. In […]

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Pardon? Yes, you read correctly. A new study by Indiana University proved: caffeine can reduce the risk of dementia.

In their first breakthrough in 2016, the same researchers have been able to prove, that an enzyme called NMNAT2 has a protective effect on our brain and can even guard it against dementia. The enzyme reduces one of the main reasons for dementia, misfolded tau proteins that accumulate with age as plaques in our brain. Neurodegenerative diseases with deposits of tau protein are called tauopathies; the most famous tauopathy is Alzheimer’s disease.

Caffeine and its super powers

The discovery of NMNAT2 led to a fierce research of substances, that can increase its production in the brain. 1,280 different products were analyzed and 24 of these have proved to be NMNAT2-increasing. One of these substances – also the most effective – is caffeine.

“This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this NMNAT2 in the brain, creating a chemical ‘blockade’ against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders,” said Professor Hui-Chen Lu, who led the study.

Be sharp and fit – a holistic approach to brain fitness

Drinking coffee might trigger a celebration for Starbucks addicts, but, unfortunately, it is not enough. A healthy diet, relaxation, and the right activity are the building blocks for your mental fitness. A study by Prof. Michael Valenzuela could prove, that cognitive active people have a 46% lower risk of developing dementia. Cognitive activity could be achieved in different ways: playing an instrument, learning a foreign language – or scientific brain training.

The activating NeuroNation brain training was developed together with renowned neuroscientists and awarded for its effectiveness by the Federal Ministry of Health. Take care of your most important organ – you are the only one, who can do it!

Start training

Sources:

[1] “Screening with an NMNAT2-MSD platform identifies small molecules that modulate NMNAT2 levels in cortical neurons” by Yousuf O. Ali, Gillian Bradley & Hui-Chen Lu in Scientific Reports. Published online March 7 2017.

[2] Indiana University “Caffeine Boost Enzyme That Could Protect Against Dementia.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 4 March 2017.

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Stop snack attacks: Scientists reveal best techniques against cravings https://blog.neuronation.com/en/stop-snack-attacks-scientists-reveal-best-techniques-against-cravings/ Fri, 29 Nov 2019 00:48:00 +0000 http://wp13402920.server-he.de/?p=2455 We all have a craving for something: sweet chocolate, tasty donuts, or greasy French fries. While they are not that […]

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We all have a craving for something: sweet chocolate, tasty donuts, or greasy French fries. While they are not that harmful to health when consumed only occasionally, it is important to be prepared and take action when this cocoa-filled, aromatic piece of heaven becomes a real obsession.

The emergence of cravings happens in two phases. First, they are elicited by environmental cues, such as pictures and smells of food. This produces thoughts related to the target of craving, which again motivates the individual to contemplate on it further by using mental imagery. The mental imagery engages several senses, such as visual, olfactory and gustatory senses, and therefore a very realistic idea of the taste and smell of the craved target is formed. If the craving is not satisfied, the individual will start feeling uncomfortable.

Australian scientists found a solution

Researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, hypothesized that cravings could be fought against by different psychological methods related to though control and re-evaluation. To test their hypotheses, the researchers randomly allocated the study participants to receive instructions for different types of mind control.

The participants in the cognitive defusion group were instructed to accept emerging thoughts as they came and specifically not to concentrate on the physical sensations those thoughts might produce. This method is supposed to inhibit the intrusiveness of the thoughts related to a craving, and therefore also reduce the craving intensity.

Other participants received instructions of guided imagery, which aims at active manipulation of mental images, such as those that are associated with the target of craving. Therefore, the mental image of the target does not become too vivid, and this should again make the craving less intense.

The research group found that while the guided imagery technique works only for people who defined themselves as chocolate cravers, the cognitive defusion method reduced the intrusiveness of thoughts and craving intensity in both chocolate cravers and in people who did not have cravings for chocolate. The researchers suggest that this kind of self-awareness methods can be used to change our thought patterns before the craving becomes too strong to resist. The best method would be to use a combination of the two techniques, which enables combatting the craving already at the very early stages of its emergence.

The first step is always the hardest

We know just too good how difficult the first steps can be and how often we let our healthy routine quail. That is why NeuroNation created a gamified training, which keeps you engaged and helps in building up your inhibition skills. With our exercise “Colorado” you can increase your willpower and build up a fundamental stepping stone towards a healthy future.

Where to start? It is up to you: Experience for yourself how an increased self-control can benefit your life, your health, and your personal success. Our NeuroNation Premium exercises offer you an ideal opportunity to strengthen your self-control and show that piece of chocolate who is the real boss.

Join more than 18 million of our users and start training your self-control abilities now.

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Sources:

[1] Schumacher, S. et al. Acceptance- and imagery-based strategies can reduce chocolate cravings: A test of the elaborated-intrusion theory of desire. Appetite, 113 (2017).

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Large-scale meta-analysis: Brain training may help prevent dementia https://blog.neuronation.com/en/large-scale-meta-analysis-brain-training-may-help-prevent-dementia-4/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:35:57 +0000 http://wp13402920.server-he.de/?p=6252 A recently published meta-analysis by a research group led by Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela from the University of Sydney provides […]

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A recently published meta-analysis by a research group led by Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela from the University of Sydney provides for the first time clear evidence, that cognitive training shows effects in people at risk to suffer from dementia.

The researchers analyzed outcomes of 17 studies that assessed the effects of computerized brain training in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. MCI is a clinical diagnosis of cognitive impairments that exceed normal age-related decline. While MCI patients show impaired cognitive performance as compared with their peers, the symptoms do not fulfill the criteria for a dementia diagnosis.

MCI patients are, however, at higher risk of developing dementia than clinically healthy older adults. For this reason, it is of great importance to explore possibilities to delay or even inhibit the progression of MCI to dementia.

Brain Training can improve cognitive performance

The new meta-analysis shows that cognitive training can improve cognitive performance of MCI-patients in several domains, including verbal memory, attention, working memory, and learning. Training also alleviated symptoms related to psychosocial functioning, such as depression. However, after the onset of dementia, cognitive training interventions have – at least yet – provided no evidence of effectively alleviating symptoms or improving cognition.

Computerized cognitive training interventions could therefore provide a method of delaying or even inhibiting the onset of dementia. Importantly, there is now convincing evidence on the potential of brain training interventions in targeting pathological cognitive decline at older age.

NeuroNation in the fight against dementia

NeuroNation is currently collaborating with the team of A/Prof. Valenzuela in a research project investigating the effects of computerized brain training and further lifestyle interventions on the prevention of dementia.

Be part of the worldwide movement towards a healthy lifestyle and a fit brain by starting your personal training today. Take action!

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Sources:

[1] Hill, N. T. M. et al. Computerized cognitive training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry Nov 14, (2016).

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Warming up the brain improves learning ability https://blog.neuronation.com/en/warming-up-the-brain-improves-learning-ability/ Fri, 04 Oct 2019 19:35:08 +0000 http://wp13402920.server-he.de/?p=3675 Scientists from Yale University are bringing good news again. This time, they analyzed the effect of a 5-minute warm-up brain-training […]

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Scientists from Yale University are bringing good news again. This time, they analyzed the effect of a 5-minute warm-up brain-training session on the performance of kids at school.

The result: The kids’ attention span improved immediately after the session and showed significant lasting improvements in the overall performance after a 4-month training course.

Is brain training better than tutoring?

Over the course of four months, 200 participants performed a brain-training course three times a week. The results are promising: compared to an untrained control group, the children significantly improved their performance at school material. The scientists explain this finding with the Priming Effect.

In psychology, Priming is the activation of associations based on previous experience. In solving brain-training tasks, the kids reached a higher degree of concentration and were able to directly learn and retain new information.

Remarkable is the lasting effect of the brain boost. The analyzed effect is more significant compared to studies, which examined the impact of tutoring. These findings may indicate that brain training can improve children’s learning ability even better than tutoring.

Warm up the brain and stay on top

Learning from the study: Warm up your brain before cognitive tasks. In just 5 minutes, brain training prepares our brain for upcoming tasks and improves performance. Feel the study-proven effect and get your brain to the right temperature with NeuroNation brain training.

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Sources:

1: Wexler, B. E. et al. Training: Immediate and far transfer to academic skills in children. Scientific Reports 6, (2016).

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