March 30th, 2015
Dr. Green Delivers Opening Keynote Address to at Med In Israel 2015

Dr. Green delivered the opening keynote address, titled “Are You Ready for ‘The Brain Age’?: The Science, The Challenges and The Opportunities Ahead” at the 3rd Annual Med in Israel Conference in Tel Aviv on March 24, 2015. Dr. Green’s presentation to the international audience of 1,200 professionals from the medical and technology fields focused on the tremendous opportunities for innovative technological solutions to brain health challenges.

While in Israel, she was interviewed by the leading financial newspaper, Calcalist (while the article is in Hebrew, but most internet browsers will have an option to view in English).

March 18th, 2015
Time to Thank Your Brain! | 3 Things You Can Do In Honor of Brain Appreciation Week

What is indeed more miraculous than the human brain? This remarkable organ has evolved over time to become what is the defining feature separating humans from other animals. While it may weigh in at about 2% of our overall body weight, our brain holds everything that we are, from our basic physical functions of breath and balance, to our memories of playground games in school, to the strong sense of love we feel for our family and friends – even whether we see #thedress as white and gold or black and blue.

This March 16th – 22nd marks the 20th anniversary of Brain Awareness Week. This annual event, sponsored by the Dana Foundation, has grown over the years to reach an international audience and raise appreciation worldwide for brain science as well as for what we can do to boost brain wellness across the lifespan.

As passionate brain health educators, we love sharing new ways you can enhance your cognitive fitness. Here are some fun activities you can do join in on the Brain Awareness Week celebration:

Thank Your Brain! Our brains are responsible for everything from keeping us awake (and getting us to sleep) to maintaining our senses, helping us speak, letting us love, and giving us pleasure in the experience of new things.  As we grow older and worry about memory loss, we tend to lose sight of all of the amazing things our brains do on a daily basis. It’s important to take time to reflect on your brain’s strengths and think about what your brain does well. Try to list 10 ways in which your brain is totally awesome. We’ll bet it won’t take long at all!

Brain Fast Facts. Did you know that our brain has over 100 billion neurons? That contrary to popular belief, we “use” all of our brain most of the time? Or that each side of the brain controls the opposite side of our body, such that the left side of our brain controls the right side of our body and vice-versa? Why not increase your brain awareness this week by learning some fast facts? You can easily find some great information on sites such as www.brainfacts.org or this brain fact story on Viral Nova.

Sneak In Some Brain Appreciation! There are many activities you can do that are great brain boosters. This week why not take a lead from our TBH Blueprint and participate in a drawing class, friendly game of cards, or book club – it is good for your brain! And remember, its never too early to start thinking about next year’s Brain Awareness Week, scheduled for March 14th-20th 2016. Be sure to check out our books in the TBH Store, offering you some great, innovative ways to celebrate the brain, this week and all year long.

 

March 13th, 2015
Time to Thank Your Brain! 3 Last-Minute Ideas for Brain Appreciation Week

What is indeed more miraculous than the human brain? This remarkable organ has evolved over time to become what is the defining feature separating humans from other animals. While it may weigh in at about 2% of our overall body weight, our brain holds everything that we are, from our basic physical functions of breath and balance, to our memories of playground games in school, to the strong sense of love we feel for our family and friends – even whether we see #thedress as white and gold or black and blue.

This March 16th – 22nd marks the 20th anniversary of Brain Awareness Week. This annual event, sponsored by the Dana Foundation, has grown over the years to reach an international audience and raise appreciation worldwide for brain science as well as for what we can do to boost brain wellness across the lifespan.

As passionate brain health groupies, we love sharing new ways you can bring better cognitive fitness to your communities.  Here are some fun activities you can add to your schedule to join in on the Brain Awareness Week celebration:

Thank Your Brain! This activity, from our TBH FAIR Toolkit, is a great community-builder that gets everyone to give a quick “shout out” to their beautiful brains. Hang a large blank paper banner on the wall in the dining area, common room or lobby.  Have several poster pens, sharpies or other markers available, in a wide variety of colors.  Across the top, write in large letters “I THANK MY BRAIN FOR …”. Ask folks to participate by simply writing down how they might finish that sentence on the banner. At the end, you will be left with a rainbow array of brain appreciation statements that can be left up and shared over the remainder of the week.

Brain Fast Facts. Did you know that our brain has over 100 billion neurons? That contrary to popular belief, we “use” all of our brain most of the time? Or that each side of the brain controls the opposite side of our body, such that the left side of our brain controls the right side of our body and vice-versa? Why not raise a bit of brain awareness this week by sharing some fast facts about our brains in your morning bulletin, community meetings or even at the beginning of other activities this week? You can easily find a number of “brain fast facts” to share on the internet on sites such as www.brainfacts.org or this brain fact story on Viral Nova.

Sneak In Some Brain Appreciation! Chances are many of the activities you offer daily are great brain boosters. This week why not take a lead from our TBH Blueprint and make sure everyone knows that whatever the activity – a drawing class, friendly game of cards, or book club – it is good for their brain!

And remember, its never too early to start planning for next year’s Brain Awareness Week, scheduled for March 14th-20th 2016. Our TBH Toolkits offer you some great, innovative ways to celebrate the brain, be sure to check them out!

February 26th, 2015
February 2015 | TBH Science Update

As we usher out Heart Awareness Month, here are two recent findings that further underscore the close relationship between heart health and brain fitness:

Mild Heart Dysfunction and Dementia: Findings Suggest Closer Monitoring Warranted

WhatAn investigation out of Iceland looked at the relationship between the range of cardiac function and brain physiology in older adults. The study considered a subset of older subjects who were part of the AGES-Reykjavik Study on aging, and found a significant and graded association between cardiac dysfunction and lower brain volume. In addition, these changes were linked to poorer performance on cognitive tests of processing speed and executive function.

Why It Matters: While the association of advanced heart failure with brain dysfunction is well established, less is known about the impact of more mild changes in cardiac hemodynamics on cognitive status. This finding suggests that the relationship of cardiac function to cognitive health develops gradually over time, suggesting that intervening to maximize cardiac function in older adults may reduce their dementia risk.

The Takeaway: Older patients with mild changes in cardiac hemodynamics should be monitored for changes in their thinking. This study also suggests that physicians should perhaps be more vigilant and consider earlier treatment for patients with such cardiac changes, as doing so may provide protection from dementia risk.

 

Do Blood Pressure Medications Reduce Dementia Risk?

What: Chronic high blood pressure during midlife has been previously associated with vascular dementia. The growing use of anti-hypertensive medications such as calcium channel blockers has raised questions regarding that class of medications possible impact on reducing dementia risk, including for Alzheimer’s disease. A new review study published online this month looked at over 38 published studies to examine this issue. The study found that antihypertensive drugs may indeed be of use in preventing cognitive loss.

Why it Matters: High blood pressure, long been associated with increase risk for stroke and dementia, is increasingly available to better control by lifestyle modifications and medications. Knowing whether the medications used for hypertension control may also lower dementia risk would be a key finding to determining other possible benefits of successful high blood pressure management.

The Takeaway: If past studies hadn’t already convinced you, here is a large, confirmatory finding that effectively managing your blood pressure is not only good for your heart but may also protect your brain. While the researchers call for further longitudinal studies where cognitive decline is a primary outcome measure to gain more insight into the mechanisms of this benefit, this and other studies continue to make it clear that managing your blood pressure should be a “no-brainer.”

February 16th, 2015
February 2015 | The Brain’s Favorite Valentine: 3 Ways to Share the Love for the Heart-Brain Connection

February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to once again take focus our thoughts on what is without doubt the brain’s favorite valentine, the heart.

Why does heart health matter so much to our intellectual wellness? The relationship between cardiovascular function and our brain health is well established. Numerous studies have shown over and again that the same factors known to impact cardiac health, such as physical activity, weight and stress, also play a significant role in determining dementia risk. The robustness of this relationship is strong and clear, and many of us know and teach that what is good for our heart is good for our brain as well.

What can we do to make sure everyone engages in the many health-boosting activities that benefit both heart and mind? Here are 3 heart — and brain! — warming activities across the Body|Mind|Spirit pillars of our TBH Blueprint you can use to share the love:

“Move to Your Heart’s Desire” Party. Physical activity is without a doubt one of the very best things we can do for both our hearts and our brains. Regular physical activity has been associated with sharper thinking and lowered risk for serious memory disorders, as well as better brain physiology, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and combatting emotional distress.

Why not give everyone a fun way to get their hearts and minds pumping this month with a fun and different improvised movement class? Have folks stand in a large circle. Begin by creating a large body movement (i.e., pumping your fists above your head in a victory move, swinging your arms in a large circle, swishing your hips back and forth, a pantomimed golf swing, cha-cha stepping into the circle and back, etc.) that you couple with a nonsense sound (i.e., “boom-boom,” “whish,” “cha-cha-cha”). Moving clockwise, have the person next to you repeat your moves and sounds, and then add their own. Keep moving around the circle, with each person repeating the moves and sounds of the classmate right before them and then adding their own. As the class becomes more comfortable with the activity, have everyone go a bit faster. Be sure to bring along some music to move along with to really keep the “party” going. Need to keep it simple? Have everyone in the group simply repeat the movement and sound that each class member comes up with, one at a time.

Act on Those Passions. Numerous studies have shown that staying intellectually engaged can reduce our dementia risk, in some cases by as much as 63%. Often changes in role such as retirement, relocation or health challenges can limit the degree to which we find ourselves exercising our minds. Have folks talk about something they are passionate about – it might be politics, cooking, childrearing advice or even the common area décor! Next, have them formulate some ideas on what they can do to engage more fully with their passions. It might be organizing a speaker, teaching a class themselves, writing an article, or even shooting a short video.  Finally, have them write out at least three steps they will take to fulfill their “Passion Plan.”

Pen a Heartfelt Wish. Nothing warms our hearts more that sharing our love or support with others.  But did you know that giving back or having a sense of purpose, not to mention being social, have all been linked to a reduced risk for memory loss? Here’s an activity that spreads the love in a social and community-building way. Have your group write anonymous “I wish for you” letters to share with others. These letters should be very general in tone, and include a kind or heartfelt positive wish or statement of support, such as “I wish for you a day filled with smiles” or “Here’s wishing you many simple pleasures today.” Address the envelopes to “The Person Who Finds This.” After everyone is done, go ahead and have the class hide the letters around the community for folks to find by chance. For more ideas similar to this, visit www.moreloveletters.com, which inspired this activity.

January 30th, 2015
Science Update | January 2015

Don’t Blame Mom! Twin Study Shows Exercise Reduces Dementia Risk Over Genetics

What: Finnish investigators reported this month in The Annals of Medicine that physical activity was associated with a significant reduction in dementia risk in a large group (21,791 subjects) of twins followed over a 29-year period. Using data from the older Finnish Twin Cohort, the researchers divided the subjects into categories based on their reported level of physical activity over time. They found that the twins who engaged regularly in vigorous exercise were half as likely to develop dementia as their less active twin.

Why It Matters: This study underscores once again the tremendous impact regular physical exercise may have on one’s risk for developing dementia. Twin studies provide one of the best ways to “control” for the influence of genetics on our risk for various diseases. These findings, from a very largest robust database following twins, strongly suggest that how we live matters very much to our dementia risk.

The Takeaway: Go for a walk, take a dance class, or swim. Do anything that gets your pulse pumping, and do it regularly and for many, many years. What you choose to do can really make a difference to your dementia risk. And spread the word – exercise really may be the best medicine!

 

Warning Label: Benzodiazepine Prescribing Increases With Age, Despite Known Risks

What: A recent study in JAMA Psychiatry  looking at patterns of prescribing for benzodiazepines in the U.S. found that this class of medications is increasingly prescribed with age, with a whopping three-fold increase in prescriptions from ages ages 18-35 years (2.6%) to folks ages 65-80 years (8.7%). Moreover, long-term use (defined as prescribed 120+ days) doubled with age, ranging from 14.7% in the youngest subset to 31.4% in ages 65-80 years. The study, using data from the 2008 LifeLink LRx Prescription database (IMS Health Inc.), confirmed the dangerous yet growing trend to prescribe long-term use of benzodiazepines for older adults.

Why This Matters: Doctors continue to overprescribe benzodiazepines for older adults, despite repeated warnings from experts against their use in this population. Prescribed primarily for anxiety and sleep disorders, benzodiazepines are known to significantly increase risk of confusion, falls, and impaired judgment (i.e., increased vehicular accident risks). The American Geriatric Society Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Use of Medications in Older Adults carries a warning level of “strong” against their use in this population. In addition, a study published in BMJ in September reported an associated increase in dementia risk in adults using benzodiazepines, with a noted increased associated risk tied to the length of time subjects were prescribed the medication, suggesting that exposure is linked to magnified risk for dementia.

The Takeaway: Any older adult – or any adult for that matter – should think twice or even three times before taking a benzodiazepine. There are proven alternative and effective treatments for sleep disturbance and anxiety without these associated risks, such as behavioral interventions and other classes of medication.  As a care professional, you can help educate your clients and their families regarding the risks of benzodiazepines and other medications for older adults.

 

January 15th, 2015
What is Your “Dawn Wall?” | Meeting Great Expectations in the Year Ahead

To the casual observer, the goal itself might seem mundane or even pointless. After all, the summit of El Capitan’s 3,000 foot Dawn Wall has been climbed and conquered countless times since 1958. In fact, it’s a simple hike to the top. Why the fuss?

One key thing – Just one simple shift. No assist. The climbers would “free climb,” using only their own bodies to make the ascent, no ropes or other equipment (other than to break a fall). And that one critical difference flipped the climb from just another climb to one of the most challenging ascents in the world. Completed yesterday, after 19 days on the sheer rock face, by a team of men who had meticulously planned this ascent for over a decade.

Each year, we set out to achieve something – it might be new, it might be a repeat of something that worked “just fine” previously. It might even be something that seems pointless. Yet how amazing would it be if we could make up our minds to just tweak one thing – one element – that changes everything. And makes our goals newly challenging, energizing, and shifts us into expecting incredible things of ourselves?

This month, many of us look at the calendar ahead and plan – For new initiatives, sales goals, marketing campaigns or program planning. As we go about these tasks, we can learn a lot about shifting into higher expectations from climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, who did something many thought impossible, and achieved spectacular greatness – on a rock wall climbed by a multitude, but never before as they did it.

In an interview after reaching the top of the Dawn Wall, Jorgeson said the following about their climb: “I hope it inspires people to find their own Dawn Wall, if you will. We’ve been working on this thing a long time, slowly and surely. I think everyone has their own secret Dawn Wall to complete one day, and maybe they can put this project in their own context.” (New York Times 1/15/15)

So what is your Dawn Wall? How can we take the lessons of the Dawn Wall free climb and make it work for us, to shift our thinking and lead us to greater expectations, even if we may see the tasks we face are common and everyday?

Here are four lessons I have taken from the Dawn Wall climbers:

Seek the Extraordinary in the Ordinary. The Dawn Wall of El Capitan is a very well-known climbing spot, easy to access and popular. It was only Tommy Caldwell’s dream of “free climbing” the wall that completely turned the quest from the ordinary to the extraordinary. While we may be earthbound, we have the same choice to make each day. Do we see a task as simply something ordinary? Are we just going to repeat the same program, give the pat marketing pitch, deal with that difficult client in the same way? Or will we shift?  And in that shift of our perceptions, attitudes and expectations, will we perhaps start to seek the extraordinary in the day-to-day, and achieve even more?

Plan with Patience. It took the Dawn Wall climbers 19 days to make their ascent. Yet the climb took over a decade to plan. On the climb itself, Jorgeson needed 7 days and 10 attempts to move across just one horizontal “pitch” (move). Achieving our own Dawn Wall requires similar planning and patience. We are programmed for immediate rewards, and often deal with clients or colleagues with similar expectations. Yet achieving extraordinary things requires us to sit back. Think through. Patiently plan. It even may mean we have to stop along the way and take a bit longer than we would like to get to the next step.

Teamwork Matters. While Caldwell had been dreaming of free climbing the Dawn Wall for over a decade, it was not until Jorgeson joined him in 2009 and they became a team that the plan truly moved forward. Having a partner can be exactly what you need to shift the ordinary to something truly different. The energy that comes from brainstorming ideas, differing points of view and other perspectives can be that critical component in making your goals something more amazing.

Stoke the Passion. The Dawn Wall climbers never gave up. They had a dream, a quest and they kept after it, and it kept them going against all odds. What is your passion? Why do you do this work? And what do you do to keep it fresh, to love what you do, so that you want to get up each and every day and rush to climb your own Dawn Wall?

Here’s to achieving our own Dawn Walls and all the extraordinary things as we plan for 2015.

December 25th, 2014
Through the Seasons Program Featured in JAA Article on Making the Most of Unstructured Time in Memory Care

How can we make the most of unstructured time when working with or caring for someone with memory loss? The current issue of the Journal of Active Aging addresses just that common concern. We are very pleased to have our Through the Seasons program featured in the article, alongside the Best Friends and the Keep in Mind programs.

Through the Seasons is a multi-modal approach that emphasizes activities-based engagement for cognitive stimulation and communication. The book, Through the Seasons: An Activity Book for Memory-Challenged Adults and Caregivers (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) can be found here.

For more information about our Through the Seasons Program, contact our offices at info@totalbrainhealth.com.

December 21st, 2014
For Our Colleagues | Thinking Gratefully, With You In Mind

Dear Colleagues:

This article is just for you.

As professional caregivers, you know better than anyone else about the burden of stress the job entails on a regular basis. Speaking recently with a colleague of several years, we found ourselves once again bemoaning the sense everyone seems to share of “more work, fewer people, fewer resources.” However, the winter holidays really seem to magnify that weight. And for that reason, we just want to hit pause and share – from the bottom of our hearts, with simple, full sincerity – how much we admire and appreciate you and all that you do.

At this time of year more than ever, chaos rules. There is the ongoing variety of holiday activities, end of the year deadlines, juggling of vacation schedules and just worrying that everyone in your community is feeling cared for during a season where celebration can be tinged by loneliness and isolation, especially for the older adult. On top of that, we layer our personal frenzies of holiday shopping, planning, cooking, obligatory party appearances and travel.

So this one is just for you. We are thinking about you and about all you do to care for others, and hope that in the midst of the whirling, pressing activity of this season, you spend even just a few moments to take care of yourself.

Knowing that all you have may indeed only have a few moments, we’d like to share some ways we can all pause when things feel really overwhelming and stress starts to rule. It’s a small gift in return, offered with the deepest of thanks from us to you.

Take a Moment. When things get crazy, it can be hard to take a bit of time for yourself. But let’s remind ourselves of the very advice we give to families and other caregivers – if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others. A TBH coach who attended this year’s ICAA Conference mentioned that one of the very best things she got out of the meeting was Dr. Jamie Huysman’s counsel to professional caregivers to “take your own oxygen first.” What great advice! Whatever your “oxygen” ¬– a cup of herbal tea, a brisk walk around the community, practicing a bit of yoga – make sure to take it.

Take a Breath. Have you ever noticed that when you’re really stressed you tend to hold your breath or breathe in a shallow, rapid manner? This is our body’s natural reaction to stress, but it is no way to “be” on a regular basis. Try this remedy: Set an alarm to ring at the same time each day. At that moment, check in with your breath – is your breathing superficial or fast, or are you holding your breath? Now that you’ve brought awareness to your breath, change it. Take a few deep, regular breaths. Note the difference not only in how you are breathing, but also in how you feel.

Take It In. Each day, take a moment to stop and be mindful of all around you. Put aside the worry of what is not yet done or the need to rush on to the next thing. Just stop and look around you. Drink in that moment – the sound of laughter coming from the two ladies walking together down the hall to your left, the sight of a colleague bent over offering a reassuring hug to the chair-bound resident, the warmth of the sunlight you feel as you sit at your desk – all of it. Using all our senses to attend fully to the world around us is a wonderful way to step out for a moment and realize a bit of gratitude for ourselves and for those around us.

May this holiday season and the coming year bring you and those you care for many moments filled with gratitude, joy and love. We look forward to sharing it with you.

November 14th, 2014
Give the Gift of Better Brain Fitness! Our 2014 Brain Healthy Gift Guide

Snow is falling in the midwest, colder air is moving in and Thanksgiving is just weeks away … it must be time for our annual Total Brain Health® “Brain Healthy Gift Guide!”

We know that finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be difficult, so we’ve put together our 2014 Brain Healthy Gift Guide to keep your holidays stress-free. At Memory Arts we are always on the look out for cool and fun ways keep you, your family and friends brain healthy, and what better way to celebrate the season than with a gift to boost the brainpower of those on your list? From your boss to your spouse, mom or mom-in-law, kids, grandkids and all those folks in between, each can use a way to maximize their intellectual potential.

We had such a great time putting together our Total Brain Health® Brain Healthy Gift Guide and know these items are sure to tickle the neurons of those on your list.

Here’s this year’s top 10 list for brain healthy gifts, plus a few extras for good measure. We’ve covered the full range of Body|Mind|Spirit activities that are part of our Total Brain Health® blueprint, with ways of engaging that have been shown to improve everyday performance and long term brain vitality. There’s something for everyone and every price point – even some suggestions that are free! Each suggestion is linked to make your shopping even easier.

Here’s to a holiday season full of many wonderful memories!

 

THE TOTAL BRAIN HEALTH® 2014 BRAIN HEALTHY GIFT GUIDE

You Can Banc On It. What better gift could you give someone than peace of mind? Keeping the details of our day-to-day lives in order can become difficult as we age, but the MemoryBanc Register organizes and records all of the important personal, financial, medical, online and household details and documents so that you can easily access them as needed or pass them on to your loved ones. Additionally, the beautiful leather-like binder can be personalized, making the gift even more special. For the holidays, Kay Bransford, the creator of the MemoryBanc Register, has graciously offered a 10% discount to TBH subscribers. Enter the code GREEN at checkout.

 

Puzzle Them. The sign of a great game is when everyone, from kids to adults, waits anxiously for his or her turn to play. Katamino is a multi award-winning game that challenges and develops spatial, visual and observational skills, which are all important in keeping us brain healthy. Start at the lowest level, with only four pieces, and once you’ve mastered that, increase the level of difficulty by adding blocks and increasing the size of the playing space. The deluxe version, with it’s beautiful neutral wood pieces, is pictured, but there’s also a colorful version for kids and another that’s great for travel. It will keep everyone engaged for hours.

 

Give Them The Gift of Relaxation. How many times have you said to yourself, “If I could just close my eyes for a few minutes, I’d feel so much better?” Sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes of down time to feel completely rejuvenated. Studies have shown that during a nap or other resting states such as wake relaxation, our brains are active but in a different and special way, doing some mental housekeeping, organizing, and processing of information. The Savasana Eye Pillow, from our friends at Priti Collection, is filled with aromatic lavender and flax seed oil. It’s designed to relax the eyes and surrounding forehead muscles and is a wonderful tool for recharging. Again, the wonderful people at Priti have offered a 15% discount to TBH subscribers for the holidays. Just enter the code TOTALBRAINHEALTH15 at checkout!

 

A Recipe For Health. If you’ve received our Gift Guides in the past, you’ll know that we’re in love with chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. The newest, Plenty More,“ is filled with over 150 amazing vegetarian dishes inspired by his Mediterranean background. Recent studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet can be linked to better cognitive function, lower decline in brain activity, and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s diseaseWhile these dishes will surely dazzle friends and family, they’re also brain and heart healthy.

 

Desktop Nirvana. Did you know that meditation may be one of the best things you can do for your brain? It can help us manage pain, stress and emotional distress, all of which can detract from daily memory performance. Some studies suggest that it may even offer a way to target different centers of the brain to maintain function. While it would be wonderful to sneak away to a relaxing zen garden for some time dedicated to mindful meditation, most of us, with our busy lives, can’t afford that luxury. Inspired by the famous rock garden at Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, Japan, the Zen Garden by Toysmith will transform an ordinary office in to a tranquil, magical space. We love the peaceful simplicity of the Deluxe version, but if you’d like to add a few pagodas to your garden, there’s a Mini version that includes three! Breath deeply and let all of that holiday season stress go!

 

Give The Gift Of Balance. Hands down, Suspend is the favorite game at our house right now! STEADY hands are required as you work to balance individual game rods on a steel frame while trying to prevent the entire structure from collapsing. This is a really entertaining game for 1 – 4 players and a great way to work on hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills.

 

 

Do They Doodle?  Studies suggest that doodling may help us maintain focus and remember more effectively. These notebooks from Denik have been featured in the New York Times and on MTV, the Huffington Post and Good Morning America, among others, and are the perfect place to express your creativity. All covers are designed by global artists, and a portion of each sale goes to building schools worldwide. Choose from over 45 designs, or if you can’t decide, go for the Epic Bundle of 10! Gift giving with a conscience!

 

AAAAHsana.  Renowned yoga instructor Jillian Pransky’s new DVD is titled “Calm Body, Clear Mind,” and that’s exactly what you’ll be giving with this gift. Mind, body and spirit are all satisfied by yoga: it builds sustained mental focus, strengthens our bodies and increases our stamina, and is a wonderful resource for maintaining emotional balance. No wonder we’re fans!

 

 

 

A Daily Dose Of Art. The originals may be a bit expensive, but you can still give your friends and family a piece of fine art every day.  This free app delivers one classic masterpiece and the story behind to their smartphone or iPad every day, and there’s also a Pro version for $4.99, with added features like creating a personal gallery and searching for artists or works of art.  Such an inspiring way to start the day!

 

The Gift of a Great Book.  “Still Alice” is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University. Genova tackles a difficult subject, but does so in a very gentle and caring way. Written with compassion and realism, the book gives the reader a sense of what it must be like to live with Alzheimer’s disease. Mark Warner of Alzheimer’s Daily News describes “Still Alice” as “the best portrayal of the Alzheimer’s journey that I have read.”  The book – which we can’t recommend highly enough – has also been made in to a motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Alec Baldwin, to be released in January 2015.

 

Yes, It’s A Top 10 List, But We’ve Got A Few More Great Ideas!

Give In Their Honor. The holidays are a wonderful time to give to charity. Why not make a donation in a recipient’s name to those who are in need? Among our top choices are the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, which funds early stage research in Alzheimer’s treatments.

Finally, A Brain Fitness Gift That Keeps On Giving. Why not give them the chance to keep on top of their brain fitness? Sign them up for our Total Brain Health® Newsletter! They’ll get a great resource full of science updates, tips for getting brain healthy, and other information four times a year – and it’s free!

Happy shopping!