As you leave the doctor’s office you look down at the prescription pad and notice that instead of a drug your doctor has prescribed a dose of… exercise? This should really come as no surprise considering that by combining all the benefits discussed previously, aerobic exercise acts like a ‘cocktail therapy’ to improve brain health. There is little doubt that a dose of exercise is foundational for brain health, but did you know exercise can also be used as medicine to prevent, treat or recover from several brain disorders? Here are some examples:
Ontario Brain Institute Blog
Imagine there is a drug that combats aging by regenerating brain cells, improving cognition, and strengthening memory. Sometime in the future this might be possible, but in the meantime, there is a low cost, easily accessible way to get all of these benefits: exercise. Not to mention the fact that regular exercise is the single best thing to boost one’s overall health, recent scientific evidence points to the fact that physical activity also improves brain health and brain function. The changes that happen inside your brain during exercise may surprise you.
It’s Brain Awareness Week 2013 – a time to think about the promise of brain research and how it’s helping all of us take practical steps towards healthier brains and a healthier future.
This year’s theme of “exercise and the brain” brought me back to a time several years ago, when I was contacted by Reader’s Digest to talk about minimizing the cognitive changes associated with aging. The interview ended with an interesting question:
“Dr. Stuss, please give our readers your personal advice on the single most important thing they can and should do to maximize their brain function as they age.”
The answer was obvious:
Report finds that physical activity protects us from losing brain function
A new report by the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) shows that more than one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be prevented by moderate physical activity.
AD is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 13 per cent of Canadians 65 years of age or older. It is a progressive loss of brain function that causes memory impairment, changes in thinking and behaviour, difficulty performing everyday activities and eventually death. While drugs can treat the symptoms of AD, there is currently no cure.
Give your brain a workout
On their own, physical activity and cognitive (mental) exercise can each act to keep our bodies and our brains fit. But did you know that challenging your body and your brain together can maximize the brain health benefit?
Image Courtesy of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Gaming platforms make therapy fun for kids with limited mobility
Experts at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are turning popular video games into a new form of home-based therapy for children with one of the most common types of cerebral palsy (CP).
Image Courtesy of Providence Care
A unique approach brings movement to stroke survivors
BOTOX® and robots: a curious pair.
But it's this novel combination of medicine and technology that's helping doctors and scientists find better treatments for stroke patients with limited movement.
More than 50,000 people in Canada suffer a stroke every year. Of them, more than one third develop a condition called spasticity.
By: Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D.
Privacy by Design (PbD)
Privacy by Design (PbD) is a framework I developed in the ’90s to shift the conventional method of privacy protection from a reactive regulation and compliance model to a proactive preventative model. Fast forward to today – advances in technology have become faster and more robust; our lives seem to change month to month instead of year to year. Accordingly, it is not only important, but imperative that individuals and organizations embed privacy proactively – making it the default.
The brain. It drives our intelligence, our feelings, our ability to interact, to walk and talk, remember the good times, plan for the future, and care for ourselves and each other. It is the core of our lives and our world.
But we know that one in three Canadians will suffer from a neurological or psychiatric disorder or injury during their lifetime. What’s more, 38 per cent of all the years we lose to disability and death are from brain disorders. In Ontario alone, the annual cost of mental illness is $39 billion – representing just a fraction of the cost of all brain disorders – and the prevalence of brain disorders is rising, especially among our children and young adults.
New device stimulates the brain to prevent seizures
At Toronto’s University Health Network – one of more than 25 organizations involved in the pan-Ontario Epilepsy Discovery Project – researchers are developing a wireless, implantable device that can predict and prevent seizures.
The device is a tiny computer surgically implanted on top of the brain, where it can detect the onset of abnormal brain activity and send electrical impulses that stimulate the brain to stop a seizure from happening.