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Posts tagged ‘health’

BLC Recap: Tips for Healthy Brain Aging

By Russell Phillips, PhD & Healthy Brain Aging Event Attendee

Dr. Janice Schwartz, named one of the best doctors in the U.S. for geriatric medicine, moderated a panel of experts on Healthy Brain Aging for our Business Leadership Council. Members of the panel included; Adam Boxer, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology at UCSF, Gregory Tranah, PhD, Scientist, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, and Kristine Yaffe, MD, Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology at UCSF. The panel discussed the process of what happens to the brain as we age, normal cognitive decline, and the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The researchers on the panel utilized cognitive assessments, neuro-imaging (PET and MRI), and genetics to evaluate brain aging, and consider risk factors and strategies to prevent cognitive decline.

Since I work in the field as well, I thought I would share several methods you can  use to keep your brain youthful and your cognitive function high.

TIPS FOR HEALTHY BRAIN AGING AND PREVENTING COGNITIVE DECLINE:

The consensus is that “use it or lose it” is the phrase to live by.

By developing the core capacities that support cognitive health (for example; the ability to focus on tasks, learn from mistakes, tune into positives, manage stress and develop resilience) brain health can be maintained and even improved.

We have found that training the brain to have a positive outlook helps people better deal with life’s stressors, which can ultimately improve cognitive function and build resilience. Resilience isn’t about ignoring feelings, but rather having the ability to feel pain and anger or confront adversity without becoming paralyzed by it. It won’t make the problems go away, but it may give you a chance to see past them.

Everyone can develop skills to become more resilient by focusing on the positive.

It’s not that you either have it or you don’t. Resilience involves thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed by anyone and is achieved by interacting with the environment using strategies that promote well-being. With help from social policies, community, friends and family, resilience is more likely to occur.

The scientific evidence is clear that a positive outlook, “the hallmark of well-being,” may actually result in resilience, better brain heath, and success instead of success producing happiness.

Positive thinking drives problem solving which in turn, drives outcomes.

Russell Phillips, PhD, is the Director of Research Solutions at Brain Resource, Inc. You can read more about brain health here.

Teen Volunteers Making a Big Difference in Health

HEALTH CARE is one of the most important challenges we face today, and local and international organizations from the International Red Cross to UCSF Medicine are working tirelessly to improve our world’s health. Teens are also working with incredible dedication to address health issues in this country and beyond, and we are proud to celebrate their efforts. If you know any exceptional Jewish teen volunteers in CA, nominate them to win $36,000 that will change their lives and spotlight their extraordinary work!

2008 Recipient Fred Scarf and his best friend Shiri

2008 Recipient Fred Scarf and his best friend Shiri

Fred Scarf, above, received a Tikkun Olam Award in 2008 for his project organizing proms for teens with life threatening diseases—who might not make it to their own proms. Fred’s organization, No Worries Now, is still going strong and is working on its 6th prom. The organization is also expanding, pairing teen volunteers with individual patients for monthly outings, creating the tools and resources for other teens to throw proms, and working with Cal Cord Blood to promote life-saving public umbilical cord blood banking.

Last year, almost 20 percent of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award nominees worked on projects impacting disease prevention and care for the sick! Outstanding teens recognized with a nomination last year organized projects such as donating teddy bears and dvds to pediatric wards, raising the money to buy dozens of pediatric wheelchairs for Iraqi children, and organizing a school health fair to teach peers about heart health.

Nominations are now open for the 2012 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards. We are calling on you to help us celebrate the power of teens to change the world. Nominations may be submitted through January 6, 2012.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY: The award is open to Jewish teens who are residents of California and are ages 13-19 at the time of nomination. Teens’ projects can help either the Jewish community or the general community, so long as they have not been remunerated for their services. Teens may be nominated by any community member who knows the value of their project—EXCEPT family members—or may also nominate themselves. For more information visit our website or contact the Project Coordinator for the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, Rachel Bloom, at (415) 512-6437 or dillerteenaward@sfjcf.org.

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