Brain Aging Research with Dr. Pamela Greenwood (BSP 87)

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Pamela Greenwood, PhD

Nuturing the Older Brain and Mind, by Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuaman provides a comprehensive review of the current research in cognitive aging.  In the latest Brain Science Podcast (BSP 87)Dr. Greenwood explains that brain aging and cognitive aging are not the same thing; the typical brain changes that are associated with normal brain aging (such as shrinkage) are not reliable predictors of cognitive decline. Fortunately, even though normal brain aging is still not well understood, the discovery of brain plasticity is shifting the focus of research. Not only does brain plasticity offer new hope for people who suffer strokes and other brain injuries, it also suggests that life style choices influence cognitive function at all ages.

Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind is intended for an academic audience but it is accessible to everyone. This month's interview with Dr. Greenwood (BSP 87) focuses on dispelling the most stubborn myths about brain aging. We also talk about the practical steps we can all take to help maintain our cognitive performance.

How to get this episode:

Related Episodes:

  • BSP 10: Introduction to Brain Plasticity.
  • BSP 26: Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science.
  • BSP 28: Edward Taub: applying brain plasticity to stroke rehabilitation.
  • BSP 68: Peter Whitehouse on dementia versus normal brain aging.

References:

  • Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind, by Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuraman (2012).
  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Doidge.
  • Greenwood, P. M. (2007) Functional Plasticity in Cognitive Aging: Review and Hypothesis. Neuropsychology  21(6) 657–673.
  • Greenwood, P. M., and Parashauraman, R. (2010) Neuronal and cognitive plasticity: A neurocognitive framework for ameliorating cognitive aging. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2: 150.
  • Gould, E. and Gross, C.G. (2002) Neurogenesis in adult mammals: Some progress and problems. Journal of Neuroscience 22 (3): 619-623.
  • Taub, E., Uswatte, G., and Elbert, T. (2002) New treatments in neurorehabilitation founded on basic research. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3 (3): 228-236.
  • Grady, C. L., McIntosh, A.R., and Craik, F.I. (2003) Age-related differences in the functional connectivity of the hippocampus during memory encoding. Hippocampus 13 (5): 572-586.
  • Colcombe, S.J., A.F. Kramer, K.I. Erickson, P. Scalf, E. McAuley, N.J. Cohen, A. Webb, et al.,
  • Cardiovascular fitness, cortical plasticity, and aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2004. 101(9): p. 3316-21.
  • Hertzog, C., Kramer, A. F., Wilson, R. S. and Lindenberger, U. (2009) Enrichment effects on adult cognitive development: Can the functional capacity of older adults be preserved and enhanced? Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9 (1): 1-65.
  • Kramer, A.F., Larish, J. F.,  and Strayer, D. L. (1995) Training for attentional control in dual tasking settings: A comparison of young and older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 1: 50-76.
  • Nagamatsu, L.S., Handy, T. C., et. al. 2012. Resistance Training Promotes Cognitive and Functional Brain Plasticity in Seniors With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment.Archives of Internal Medicine 172 (8) 666-668.
  • Liu-Ambrosea, T.,  Nagamatsua, L.S., Vosse, M.W.,  Khanc, K.M., and. Handy, T. C. (2012) Resistance training and functional plasticity of the aging brain: a 12-month randomized controlled trial. Neurobiology of Aging 33: 1690 –1698.
  • Willis, S.L. et. al (2006) Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association 296 (23): 2805-2814.
  • For more references: see Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind and the free transcript of BSP 87.

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