Daily Archives: November 29, 2010
Brain Plasticity, Neuroplasticity, What Is It Anyway?
By now you’ve probably heard the terms brain plasticity or neuroplasticity. You are most likely wondering, what is it, do I have it, can I get it, is it contagious, should I want it? Well, I am going to explain it in simple terms in hopes of giving everyone a clearer, better understanding of brain plasticity or neuroplasticity.
First, brain plasticity and neuroplasticity mean the same thing and the terms are interchangeable. It basically refers to the brain‘s ability to change for better or worse. Inside our brains we have axons, dendrites, nerve cells, gray matter. When we learn new information, our brains actually form new neural or nerve pathways enabling us to retain the newly learned information. Then of course we must reinforce this newly acquired knowledge. Isn’t that fabulous? As we continue to learn, we can continue to add new pathways. Of course, pathways can change when we forget things. Keep in mind, this is a simplified definition of brain plasticity.
As Speech-Language Pathologists, we are expertly trained in brain science and neuro anatomy. Speech-Language Pathologists diagnose and treat cognitive, communication, language, and speech disorders. Therefore, we are uniquely qualified to conduct brain fitness classes to help individuals improve cognitive skills while building a cognitive reserve to stave off Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
Our brain fitness classes at BrainMasters, are different from the computer based programs, as ours are based on principles of cognitive skills development as utilized in Speech-Language Pathology. Our classes focus on improving memory, problem solving, thought organization, reasoning skills, judgment, executive function, processing speed, thought flexibility, focus and concentration skills, and attention skills. Classes are conducted in a group setting that is interactive, enjoyable, and entertaining. We provide compensatory techniques and strategies that will assist each individual achieve carryover of the desired skills. At BrainMasters, we help you capitalize on your strengths while strengthening your weaknesses utilizing the principles of brain plasticity. Our programs can be customized and adapted to accommodate any age group from teens to my 96 year old grandmother! So, baby boomers, take advantage of the opportunity right in front of you-enroll in a brain fitness program. You’ll be glad you did!
Best of all, at BrainMasters we bring our classes to your location at your convenience!
Brain Boosters-Word Beads
Try these Word Beads that we have created. These are are great for exercising your brain. Word Beads focus on thought organization, problem solving, reasoning, memory skills, thought flexibility, and executive function. By incorporating brain fitness activities into your life, you are taking positive steps toward healthy aging while improving your brain function and overall thinking skills. Healthy aging and longevity include building brain power through use of brain or neuro plasticity to create your cognitive reserve. These activities are necessary to stave off the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Don’t forget about the physical exercise component as well! Physical exercise and a healthy diet aid in decreasing the risk for developing other diseases such as diabetes, depression, high blood pressure-all of which have been linked to memory impairments.
We present Word Beads. Use the following string of letters to create as many 5, 6, 7, 8 letter words as you can. The letters must remain in the order presented but can be separated within the word. Here is an example-STR. STORE, STARE, etc…….
Let’s use PLU as our Word Bead.
Have fun and let’s get those brains exercising!