Brain Training For Improved Cognition

An immense amount of research is dedicated to a timeless question asked by scientists all over the world – can the brain rejuvenate? While many tissue types in our body excel at performing this ordinary yet almost magical action, brain tissues aren’t capable of the same amazing function. This is a serious problem, given the fact that brain injuries are hard to overcome, dead neurons, which are brain cells, cannot be reinstated, and lost brain functions are most likely irreversible. If neurons can’t divide and reproduce, that means cognitive decline is right at the corner.

What is Cognitive Decline?

Cognitive decline is usually associated with aging, as brain performance deteriorates with age, however it can be linked to various conditions, with dementia among these. Cognitive decline is when a person has hard time performing brain processes which underlie day to day tasks, such as remembering, concentrating, decision making, spatial navigating and learning.

What Causes Cognitive Decline?

Neurons in our brain are coated with a white fatty substance, called myelin. As neurons communicate through electrical signals to facilitate complex patterns which underlie our everyday-life’s functionalities, the myelin sheath ensures great isolation to promote better conductance and brain function. By the age of 20, our myelin sheaths are formed which leads to mature cognition. As we grow older, our myelin gradually degenerates, which results in cognitive fixation, and later even causes daily challenges such as difficulties remembering and learning new things.

What is Brain Training?

If you ask yourself by now how to improve cognition, we’re here to introduce you with brain training. Brain training is a program of frequent activities that are designed to improve (or maintain) cognitive abilities, such as learning and decision making. Such cognitive training programs work on strengthening weak brain pathways, especially the ones that were most likely damaged by myelin degeneration.

This type of training works on enhancing brain connectivity – as neurons connect with each other for signaling, new myelin sheaths are formed in these specific pathways. Encouraging your brain to make an effort and learn new associations and concepts, can help your brain form way more connections than it usually does. This type of training ensures that plasticity, i.e. the amount of new connections and myelin formed, increases dramatically to improve overall cognitive function.

What Other Conditions Can Brain Training Be Used For?

Other than age induced cognitive decline, brain training can be used to treat many different brain conditions. Among these conditions, it is possible to find ADHD and other attention struggles, memory decline due to dementia or other conditions, traumatic brain injuries, reading struggles and dyslexia, and more. These conditions can be treated with brain training as it targets the plasticity of the brain, and thus can obtain a significant improvement.

To summarize, cognitive decline is frequent with age, and while aging cannot be fought, enhancing brain performance in later ages is completely possible thanks to brain training. Brain training involves performing regular tasks which focus on forming new brain connections to ensure plasticity and brain vitality.

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