Category Archives: Brain Functions

People with More Education Recover Better From Traumatic Brain Injury

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Educated people appear to recover better from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). This suggests that education helps protect the brain. Continue reading

Can Stress Accelerate Alzheimer’s?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Chronic stress is associated with brain atrophy, memory problems, and dementia. However how this works is not well understood. A new animal study suggests that stress-induced steroids that inhibit brain activity may be part of the answer. Continue reading

Meditate For 8 Weeks and Watch Your Brain Grow

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

What we do on a daily basis can affect our brain health. Indeed, thanks to neuroplasticity (the lifelong ability of the brain to change), new brain cells (neurons) and connections between neurons can grow, based on our experiences. Recent studies show that practicing meditation is part of the daily activities that can change the brain. Continue reading

Brain Exercises Help People with Dementia

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon
Lifelong participation in intellectually stimulating activities (reading, writing, playing bridge, etc.) is associated with lower risks of developing dementia. But is participating in stimulating activities helpful once one has developed dementia? A recent review of studies that tried to answer this question suggests that the answer is “yes”. Continue reading

Tips For Remembering

In her latest book “Max Your Memory” (D.K.), Dr. Michelon, who is also the founder of The Memory Practice, provides tips and techniques to improve memory at all ages.

Today, the Wall Street Journal provides extracts from the book: Enjoy 4 online exercises along with the description of what technique to use to succeed! Continue reading

Stress Makes your Brain Shrink

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

High and sustained levels of stress not only increase blood pressure, lower immunity and inflammatory response but also affect the brain itself.
In a previous post we reported that long-term exposure to cortisol (the “stress hormone”) can result in damage to cells in the hippocampus, a brain structure crucial for memory formation. A recent study at Yale now shows that experiencing stressful life events can reduce gray matter in other critical regions of the brain that regulate emotions and important physiological functions. Continue reading

Can the Brain be Trained to Better Multitask?

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

As you probably have noticed, it is never easy to do several things at the same time. The best explanation is that human attentional ability is limited. So doing two tasks or more at the same time necessarily lower the amount of attention one can devote to each individual tasks. This leads to slow processing and errors. Since as we age it becomes increasingly difficult to focus attention on a task, it also becomes more difficult to multitask. Brain training has been shown to improve many abilities: Does it work for multitasking too? Continue reading

Playing Music Trains The Brain

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

As you know the brain is plastic, that is the way brain cells grow and are wired together changes with our experiences. Although such neuroplasticity decreases with age, it is present throughout our lives. This is why what we do on a daily basis can have a huge impact on our brain health and good mental functioning. A recent study adds to this issue by showing that playing an instrument can decrease age-related hearing loss. Continue reading

Why Crosswords Puzzles are not Enough for a Sharper Mind

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

We often wish we could remember better, pay more attention, be more understanding, be less stressed, etc. In other words we all wish we could function better. Is this possible? Experts tell us that to function better we must take care of our physical brain and try to develop and exercise it. Continue reading