Scientific News

Surfing the Web Can Boost Your Brain

You can teach an old dog new tricks, say UCLA scientists who found that middle-aged and older adults with little Internet experience were able to trigger key centers in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning after just one week of surfing the Web. So go ahead and web surf. It's good for your brain!

The Doctor's in: Diabetes and Memory Loss

Diabetes slows down memory loss in people with Alzheimer's disease! Researchers conducted a 4-year study on 608 subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, out of which 63 people also had diabetes. Their memory and thinking skills were tested regularly. Those with diabetes turned out to have a slower rate of memory decline than those who "only" suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The reason for this is not clear yet. However, it could be the result of the cardiovascular medication elderly diabetics are taking, which other studies have shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease as well as the rate of cognitive decline.

Juggle Your Way to a Sharper Brain

According to a recent study, activities such as learning to juggle actually boosts brain connections. Following an extensive 6-week practice period, the researchers observed changes in regions of the brain's white matter that are linked with reaching, grasping, and peripheral vision, regardless of how well the participants had learned to juggle.

From a cognitive point of view, it can therefore be inferred that learning something new and novel in addition to the time spent practicing is the key to changes in the brain. When brain training, it is essential to engage with new and varied exercises and to do it consistently over a period of time to realize the real changes and ...

Does Brain Training Make You More Desirable?

So geeks are desirable? For the first time, scientists have found evidence that a male's cognitive performance is linked to his success with the ladies. Researchers from Elon University, North Carolina, found that female university students see intelligent men as the most attractive.

The Doctor's In: Depression and Your Memory

Common mental conditions like depression affect our cognitive abilities, most notably working memory and attention, and can contribute to the difficulty of coping and being effective in our every day jobs and life. Depressed individuals must engage more brainpower to achieve the same results as someone without depression. This can places heavy demands on the brain’s resources and may result in progressive brain exhaustion. This can lead to noticeable cognitive deficits.

This year the theme of the World Mental Health Day on October 10th is "Mental Health in Primary Care Medicine: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health". Through emphasizing the benefits of enhancing ...

The Doctor's In: Exercise Your Body or Your Brain - Must You Choose?

Yes, you've always known that your willpower has its limits. Now, a new study by scientists of the Canadian McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, reveals that using your willpower to do one thing might reduce your ability to do another totally different thing. The researchers gave subjects a cognitive task to complete and found that they didn't exercise as much afterwards. However, these results should not be taken as an excuse to stop exercising! This should rather be seen as a challenge to learn to increase your will power for the benefit of both your body and your brain!

Get Social For Your Brain Health

So you understand that maintaining a social network of friends is important to your cognitive health. Do you feel like your social life could use a boost? Try these tips for enhancing your social interactions and relationships:

* Call a friend or relative you haven't talked to in a while
* Schedule a regular lunch or dinner date with a friend
* Organize a weekly card or board game with a group of neighbors
* and more ...

Clear Your Brain's Cobwebs!

We've all heard it said that a healthy body is a healthy mind: Scientists have found that most forms of exercise help you to think more clearly by increasing blood flow to the brain. Specifically, researchers found that doing aerobics improves problem-solving and decision-making skills. In the study referenced below, both men and women had greater concentration and focusing capabilities after their aerobic workout sessions. Similar results were found after 45-minute treadmill sessions. Read more about the study results...ideal physical exercise for your brain and then review some physical exercise brain boosters.

Got Brain Reserve?

For years, research was conducted to find out why some people remain cognitively fit throughout their lives, while other people don't. One of the main proponents of this theory is Dr. Yakoov Stern. It is described as a person's ability to withstand progressive brain pathology such as Alzheimer's disease by not showing any clinical symptoms. Scientists speculated that those without symptoms had greater neuronal resources, or in other words a greater reserve in terms of neurons and skills. Ever since, this has been known as "cognitive reserve". It is also the brain's ability to create new neural pathways and connections.

Researchers later produced great evidence that mentally ...

The Doctor's In: Driving with Your Brain

Earlier this year, I wrote about the cognitive skills necessary for safe driving. It’s ever more clear that abilities such as vision, reaction times, attention, judgment and ability to multi-task, are all essential to our ability to be safe on the road. As we age, our brains change and our ability to multi-task decreases. Elderly drivers need to pay attention on the road and not use the phone—especially dialing numbers. (This is true for younger drivers as well, but is a much harder sell, I’m afraid). This month, the Dana Foundation summarizes some recent articles on this topic that’s worth a read here. Check out the featured game below. It can significantly help to train your ...

Brain Fitness at the Senior Olympics

The Summer National Senior Games are being held from August 1-15 in the San Francisco Bay Area with the Athlete Village at Stanford University Campus. This is the largest multi-sport event for qualifying athletes ages 50 and older. We salute all the athletes who participated on over 20 distinct sporting events. How very inspiring it is to see! Check out this article Too Old to Compete? Don't Tell These Athletes for a dose of inspiration and find out about Stanci (56) who is blind and and has been swimming in competitions for years, or Dee (78) and Johnie (82), the tennis playing couple!

HAPPYneuron was proud to participate. At the Humana tent at the Stanford University campus, ...

The Doctor's In - Feed your brain right!

Want to consume the best foods for your brain? Find out why wild salmon is better than farm-raised salmon, why your brain loves cacao and coffee beans but may be less keen on chocolate and coffee drinks. Why matcha, that Japanese green tea powder, is nothing like standard tea bags, what acais actually are, and finally, why blueberries are also know as "brainberries"! Read about it here.

Keep That Coffee Habit!

Not just one, but two recent studies have shown that increases in caffeine caused significant decreases in abnormal levels of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists believe that the discoveries could lead to caffeine being a treatment in the future as well as defensive strategy against Alzheimer's disease. Pour another cup of coffee and read more about it at Medical News Today.

Your Brain in the Workplace

Want to know why programing your Blackberry should be viewed as a challenge and not a punishment? Why constantly learning new things will help you learn even better over time? Do you know what time of day your brain is most likely to retain new information? Why learning on the job is beneficial for everyone?

Learning on the job isn’t a luxury these days; it’s absolutely necessary. Plus we all expected to be working longer in life than our parents did. And that's where your brain at work comes in. Ideally you need your brian to performing at peak levels in order to contually learn and adapt to new situations.

We are delighted to see that the Dana Foundation has ...

Hang Out This Holiday Weekend for the Good of Your Brain

There are likely to be BBQs, family gatherings, community events and fireworks on the agenda over the next few days. Is this good for your brain? “Absolutely” says the scientific community who have studied the positive effects of socializing on the brain - specifically delaying brain decline and reducing stress. Read more about the benefits of socializing here ...

Get a healthy Brain Lifestyle!

Do you have trouble remembering things? Doing memory exercises and working on memory retention strategies can help a lot. HAPPYneuron is a great solution.

But what if you even forget to do your memory workout? Now, with the new “Workout Reminders” feature, you can tell the HAPPYneuron coach to email your personalized workout on a schedule that suits you. You may never forget your brain workout again!

The Doctor's In: Train your memory and shape up your school results!

Last year, the New York Times published an article on how memory training is good for the brain. It is possible to improve your general ability to solve complex problems, also called "fluid intelligence"? This can only be excellent news for you and all graduating students! The scientists studied 4 groups of volunteers who all underwent a daily half-hour memory training for a shorter or longer period, depending on the group and found that all participants had significantly improved. Read more about it here ...

The Doctor's In: 10 signs of Alzheimer's Disease

The Alzheimer's Association recently published an article on the 10 signs of Alzheimer's disease. The first sign is occasional memory loss, like not being able to remember important dates or events, further signs are difficulties in planning or solving problems, completing everyday tasks, confusing time and place and not knowing how and why you arrived to a particular location. You can read about the different types of memory loss here and learn more about the 10 signs of Alzheimer's disease here...

Your Insurance Against Brain Decline

Did you know that the average lifetime cost of care for an individual with Alzheimer's is almost $175,000? Laura Fay, HAPPYneuron's CEO, speaks about this in a recent podcast interview. The cost of a cognitive cross training program seems small when faced with the possibility of that type of personal financial burden in the future. When systematic cognitive training is included in a brain healthy lifestyle, it offers an additional level of insurance against brain decline. You can learn more about the magnitude of the economic impact of Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the strategies that can be used to slow mental decline, and how HAPPYneuron is helping to educate the ...

Sleep your way to a Healthy Brain

We instinctively know that sleep is important if we want to think clearly. Now, according to a study published on April 3 in the journal Science, researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health found more evidence that sleep resets the brain to allow more growth and learning the next day. Read about their fascinating research here and get a good nights sleep - your brain will thank you for it.

Cognitive Progress Graphs

Check out the Cognitive Progress graphs in your personal profile page. These have been updated to better show your overall progress since the beginning of your cognitive training with HAPPYneuron. We hope they will encourage you to keep up with your brain workouts!
There are six progress charts – one showing your overall HAPPYneuron Performance Index (HPI) progress, and one for each of your cognitive functions of Memory, Language, Attention, Visual-Spatial skills and Executive Function. As always, you can drill down for more detailed information in each area. Check it out and give us your comments.

The Doctor’s In - How does the Brain Work?

You may find this primer about brain development and functioning, created by the Society of Neuroscience, quite interesting. This is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians whose mission it is to research and educate. The primer is called Brain Facts. It's written with a non-medical audience in mind and it's available for free. Definitely worth checking out if you have an interest in how the brain works, how memory is stored in the brain, how changes in the neural pathways effect our memory, the process of learning, and more.

Cognitive Cross Training Explained

Last week HAPPYneuron’s Laura Fay spoke with Adriane Berg of the Longevity Club Radio Show about the cross training program, the history of brain science, the impact of technology on the effectiveness of the program and the resulting cognitive health benefits for life. Listen on (about 5 minutes into the show).

Be a safe Driver

Cognitive capabilities are important to strengthen for continued safe driving as we age. In recent years, state-sponsored research in Maryland has shown that if a driver fails a cognitive test, he is 25 percent more likely to be involved in a crash. That’s quite a statistic! The good news is that the cognitive abilities important to driving can be prolonged and even rehabilitated even if they are in decline. Read Dr. Croisile's full article here...

What are all the different types of Memory Loss?

I am asked this question all the time. There are many memory disorders and it's often difficult to understand the differences. Here's a brief overview.

Normal memory loss: Everybody's brain ages. As the connections and chemicals in the brain alter with time, many people forget things like names, keys, and what the they went in the next room for. This is pretty normal, and doesn't automatically lead to deterioration if a person is leading a brain healthy lifestyle.

Mild cognitive impairment: Problems with memory, language, or other problem solving functions are now noticeable to others but may not interfere with daily life. For example, Mom continually loses her keys ...

For the Good of your Brain, Learn about St. Patrick's Day!

Exposing your brain to new information is important. On this St. Patrick's Day (Tuesday, March 17th) ask yourself what you really know about it except that people wear green and lots of beer is consumed? Like most holidays we celebrate, the history and the traditions go way deeper than that. Impress your Irish and non-Irish friends alike, with your knowledge. Read about the History of St. Patrick's Day and about who was St. Patrick?.....hint - he wasn't actually Irish.

Drink a Day may Delay Dementia

A drink may actually be good for your brain. A 2007 study led by researchers at the Department of Geriatrics at the University of Bari, Italy, and published by the American Academy of Neurology, found that for people with mild cognitive impairment, consuming up to one drink of alcohol a day may slow their progression to dementia.

Brain Decline, Brain Health and Staying Vital

Laura Fay, HAPPYneuron's CEO discusses importance of staying mentally fit and how to improve cognitive abilities on the "Coping with Caregiving" Radio show last weekend. Revealing that brain decline starts as early as our 30s, she discusses all the elements required to keep your brain healthy and how to lower your risk of accelerated brain decline. For your listening pleasure, the 10 minute show was recorded and is available for listening here.

For the Good of Your Brain, Learn about President's Day!

We all know that learning new skills is good for the brain. The scientists tell us that learning new information of any kind is important. So let's learn. Perhaps you know the 3rd Monday in February as President’s Day?.. unless you live in a state where it’s known as Washington’s Birthday or Lincoln/Washington Day. Confusing? Sort it all out for yourself, and your friends, by watching a short video explaining the whole thing…and then some!

For the Good of Your Brain, Learn about St. Valentine's Day

We all know that learning new skills is good for the brain. The scientists tell us that learning new information of any kind is important. So let's learn something about Valentine's Day.....Just who was St. Valentine? What was the date of the first mail-posted valentine card on record? Why do we celebrate it on Feb 14th? Impress your friends with your knowledge...go to the HERE for all you need to learn.

Your Brain in Stressful Economic Times

Sandrine Belier, Ph. D., Cognitive Psychology, discuss this question. She also talks about how a fit and healthy brain can guard against all the doom and gloom that seems to be in the news every day. Read what she has to say on these topics at the HAPPYneuron Blog.

HAPPYneuron's Scientific Foundation

For many years, I and, the HAPPYneuron scientific team have been working with prestigious medical institutions and universities to collaborate on the effective use of interactive Cognitive Training activities for the deferral of brain decline in addition to the remediation of specific conditions such as Mild Cognitive Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Depression and Schizophrenia. Many of you have expressed interest in these so we recently posted a list of research studies. There are many more in progress and they will be posted as the information becomes available.

Did You Know?: Peer Comparison Methods Matter

Age, gender and education level are the three primary variables that influence your cognitive reserve and your natural cognitive orientation. Therefore, from a cognitive performance perspective, your peers are the people of the same age, gender and education level as you and they can be expected to have a similar cognitive performance as you. Therefore, scientifically, it is essential that all comparisons relative to others are performed factoring these 3 important factors. With almost 18.5M data points in the HAPPYneuron database, these comparisons are very accurate and are becoming ever more accurate with each passing day. So the more YOU workout your brain, the more it helps OTHERS ...

Keeping Your Brain Young

Woman’s Day Radio Host Barbara Brody, Health Editor at Woman’s Day Magazine, interviews Dr. Coleman of the Alzheimer’s Association and Dr. Robert Bender of the Johnny Orr Memory Center and the HAPPYneuron Scientific Team, on the topic of keeping our brain’s young. The program is about 30 minutes long. Definitely worth a listen! Click here to go to WD Radio and hear the show.

How Does the Brain Really Work?

The Alzheimer’s Association has done a very nice job of offering a wonderful Interactive Tour of the Brain in 13 languages. Check it out....

Seven Simple Tips for a Healthier Brain

Dr. Bernard Croisile, MD Neurology, Ph.D. Neuropsychology, gives you some easy tips on how you can take control of your brain's health and make the most of your mind.

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Head Injury

This article has been written by Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D. a subject expert from Prevention, a strong HAPPYneuron partner. "Many of us are unaware that head injury, especially repeated head injury or concussion, is a risk for our brain's long term health. As I wrote last time, new evidence suggests that repeated head injury among athletes may increase their risk for a progressive cognitive disorder. However, even those of us"

Seven Simple Tips for a Healthier Brain

Author of Dental Floss for the Mind, Get your Brain in the Fast Lane and Broccoli for the Brain, neurologist Dr. Bernard Croisile, Ph.D., gives you some easy tips on how you can take control of your brain's health and make the most of your mind.

Losing One's Mind

Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities. The most common form of dementia among older people is Alzheimer's disease (AD), which initially involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Although scientists are learning more every day, right now they still do not know what causes AD, and there is no cure.

In this Time/CNN article, Walter Kukull, director of the U.S. National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center explains how researchers could reduce people's risk of Alzheimer's Disease. In this brief yet informative interview, he talks about genetics, drug discovery, and mitigating diseases.

Remember Me?

We're entering the season of graduations, summer vacations and parties, as well as family reunions. Often we see people during these events that we haven't seen for awhile and the faces are familiar, but we can't recall their names. Christine Green, Ph.D. and blog contributor to Prevention Magazine's website, has some tips for how to remember names and avoid those embarrassing pauses while you search your memory bank for clues.

The Doctor is In

Ever wonder what the biggest misconception is about the role of brain training? This article is an insightful piece based on an interview with Dr. Michel Noir, co-founder of Happy-Neuron. An engaging look into his research and observations, you will discover how cognitive abilities are developed over the span of a person's lifetime, starting from when they are born. Learn how brain training actually works, including the underlying phsyiological mechanisms that explain how mental training benefits the brain.

Natural Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Research has shown that diet and exercise have an impact on preventing this dreaded disease. Vitamins, fish oil and a daily stroll can be your best defense, not to mention making your quality of life more enjoyable. Gale Maleskey, MS, RD (registered dietician), writes for Stop Aging Now about ways to keep your brain sharp and prevent Alzheimer's.

Got Tea?

In a recent article posted on, there were 7 reasons listed to drink green tea. One of the 7 reasons was to "PROTECT YOUR MEMORY, OR YOUR MOM'S." Green tea may keep the brain from turning fuzzy. Getting-up-there adults who drink at least two cups a day are half as likely to develop cognitive problems as those who drink less. Why? It appears that the tea's big dose of antioxidants fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


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