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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
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Saturday, December 15, 2007
Boomers Head to the Brain Gym
San Francisco Chronicle, Heidi Benson, Chronicle Staff Writer,
Thursday, December 13, 2007 -- Marathon-happy Baby Boomers, those 78 million Americans born from 1946 to '64, were the first generation to make a religion of physical fitness. Now, they are investing time and money to maintain what's above their six-pack abs and rippling biceps: their brains.
"People are living longer, and they want their brains to keep up with their bodies," said Lisa Schoonerman, who is on top of the trend.
She and her life partner, Jan Zivic, have opened a "brain gym," called vibrantBrains, on Sacramento Street in San Francisco.
"Studies show that regular mental workouts are WD-40 for the brain," Schoonerman said. "It's preventative maintenance."
This is music to the rock 'n' roll-addled ears of Boomers, who are hearing that Alzheimer's disease is on the rise, largely due to increased longevity. According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University, instances of the disease will afflict 1 in 85 people worldwide by 2050.
As they "rage against the dying of the light," Boomers are clamoring for goods and services designed to defy aging and sharpen mental skills. Top among them are brain-training computer software programs and video games, including Nintendo's "Brain Age," which has sold 10 million copies since it went on the market two years ago.
All the latest programs and more are on the menu at vibrantBrains, which Schoonerman and Zivic have created as a neighborhood resource center, with classes, lectures and author appearances, plus drop-in computer brain-training sessions.
"You can come on your own or be part of a group," Zivic said. While health insurers and retirement communities are beginning to invest in such software, the founders of vibrantBrains believe theirs is the first storefront brain gym in a commercial setting.
They offer memberships, just like a gym ($60 per month), and cite studies that show people learn best in group settings. The space is convivial, with a dozen computer stations, a retail area stocked with books and software and a sunny sitting room where tea and "smart" snacks like walnuts - rich in Omega-3 fatty acids - are in reach.
-- Alzheimer's Research Forum
-- Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, National Institute on Aging, United States National Institutes of Health
-- Posit Science Corporation
-- Dr. Gary Small, UCLA Center on Aging
-- Brain Fitness for Life
-- Reclaim Your Brain
7/4/2011Post a Comment
If this hadn’t happened to me, I would not have believed it possible. Please follow the link and read my stuff. The link starts with http on the line by itself that is not indented. If it is not active you may have to copy and paste the link into your browser. It is worth the effort.
Though the ADA was signed into law more than 20 years ago, I have never benefited from it. This is the address of a TBI survivor’s (me/my) encounter with Higher Education. It is a rather astounding read. Please distribute the link to everyone you can think of. Print the pages, contact your local newspapers, write your elected officials, this issue is not going to go away. This part of the hidden cost of war. I would like to hear what other people’s experiences have been.
Things will change, if, we the people, make it happen. Accident survivors and our wounded veterans deserve better treatment than I got. Thanks for reading.
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