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The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age Paperback – April 4, 2013

83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

"Using charts, draw­ings, and up-to-date scien­tific stud­ies, they present the case that any brain, at any age, can change for the better...The authors sug­gest myr­iad activ­i­ties to help the process along...(This is) A stim­u­lat­ing, chal­leng­ing resource, full of solid infor­ma­tion and prac­ti­cal tips for improv­ing brain health." *– Kirkus Reviews*

Review

“There are so many gems in this book...I have to say I wish I had read this awesome guide when I was much younger.” *– Scientific American*

“The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness boils down the cur­rent explo­sion of new research in this area to specific advice…” *– CNN Money* * *

“…nice to see the new book, The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, where all of the relevant information is in one place.” *– Greater Good Science Center at UC-Berkeley*

"An essential reference on the field of neuroplasticity and cognitive health." *– Walter Jessen, PhD, founder and editor of Highlight Health* * *

"One of those books you can't ignore. Insightful, to the point, actionable." *– Tobias Kiefer, Director Global Learning & Development, Booz & Company*

"A must-read for everyone with a brain." *– Gloria Cavanaugh, former President of the American Society on Aging*

"Kudos for an excellent resource!" *– Elizabeth Edgerly, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Alzheimer's Association*

"A masterful guide to the brain training revolution." *– P. Murali Doraiswamy MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University *

"A much-needed resource to help us better understand our brains and minds and how to nourish them through life."* – Susan E. Hoffman, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Berkeley*
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: SharpBrains Incorporated; 2 edition (April 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982362978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982362976
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Alvaro Fernandez runs SharpBrains.com, a leading market research firm tracking health and well-being applications of brain science. Named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, he has been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and more. Alvaro considers himself a "learning microorganism," and loves public speaking. He received masters in education and business from Stanford University, and teaches at UC-Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. A native of Spain, he now lives in Washington, DC with his wife and young daughter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Timmy Gillard on June 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My family has a history of dementia and Alzheimer's, so my wife and I are always on the lookout for new and helpful information about keeping our brains strong as we age. We've read more than a few and I haven't written reviews of any of them. I wanted to share a bit about why I did like this book and what prompted me to take the time to write a review. I found this book to be bursting with useful information. It is very easy to read and the information is presented beautifully for what I consider to be the intended audience - people like me without an advanced degree in brain-related science! At the same time, the content is very up-to-date so I am sure those in the field could learn quite a bit, too. The section of the book that I found most enlightening and interesting is about how exercise affects the brain. As a not-too-avid, but fairly consistent exerciser, I read this chapter hoping for it to rejuvenate my effort and it did because it presented the how and why of exercise's benefits for the brain. When my young son asked me why I was exercising again, I almost replied, "It turns out that the research shows that exercise can trigger changes in the brain that spur neuroplasticity, which is the production of new neurons and the connections between them!" But, instead I just said because it is good for me and for my brain... not because I don't think he could have understood, but more because I didn't want his follow-up questions to delay my neuroplasticity workout! I think another section that will be interesting to many readers as it was for me is the section about nutrition and the brain. The Mediterranean Diet, supplements' effect on brain health (or not), smoking, and obesity are a few of the topics covered. One last note...Read more ›
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By R. Goodman on May 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a wonderful read for a beautiful spring weekend!

Being a well-versed and daily practitioner of cognitive (and physical) exercise, I was particularly interested to learn about the research detailing the positive affects that some social activities have on our cognition. The walking book club idea to combine physical, cognitive and social stimulation inspired me to recommit to many pleasurable activities I enjoy as they are actually good for my brain!

With a thorough yet easily accessible overview of the most current research (via fascinating and thoughtful summaries and interviews) the book describes how a myriad of lifestyle choices impact our current and future brain and body health. The book makes a compelling case for lifelong brain fitness and will motivate the reader to join the growing number of people prioritizing stress reduction, happiness, social networks, physical and cognitive exercise - all pieces of the brain fitness jigsaw puzzle as discussed in depth in the book. I especially enjoyed the chapters on how to build emotional resilience, how to cross-train our brains and how to prioritize to create an individualized brain fitness program.

Reading this book will change the way you think about your brain, and perhaps the way you live.

Annette Goodman, Chief Education Officer, Arrowsmith Program
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James Buch on November 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Brain plasticity - the ability of the brain to be changed - is the basis of the work, and the focus is on Lifestyle Changes. Medications are rarely mentioned.

The Lifestyle Changes mentioned are generally similar to those of several other books. There is an excellent chapter on brain training computer programs/games that seems lacking in other books of this subject. While there is diet discussion, thankfully there are no menus or recipes.
"
The physical book purchaser should examine the Appendix: "55 Important Brain Fitness Facts" as a decent summary of the main findings in the book.

The Index will tell you if the things you are interested in are there. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are in, but CoQ10 and statin drugs are out, for example.

From the Table of Contents you will see a pattern of:

* Be your own boss - take charge of your brain care
* Physical activity/exercise
* Eat and drink well - not many supplements work
* Mental challenges/brain exercise
* Social engagement and social life
* Learn to manage stress (both brain and heart benefits)
* Train your brain - emotion,attention,thought processes, and how
* Techniques to help you manage your brain care process

Somewhere in the book, one interviewee stated that whatever was good for the heart was probably good for the brain.

So, one could say that in rough summation, this is a combination of heart (and brain) healthy lifestyle plus some specific brain workout and development activity with some help in managing your own program.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By May Lou Hely on May 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've been studying the concept of doing things to protect the brain from decline with aging. Over 4 years I've read practically everything written for the non-scientific audience. There is on-going controversy about what works and what doesn't to mitigate dementia in old age, including the effects of Alzheimer's disease. This book provides the most current information about what's proven to help the brain stay fit and what are simply guesses. I like The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness because it's straightforward and easy to understand for the person who hasn't been immersed in the study of neuroscience. It sifts through all the marketing hype and tells exactly what a person can do to keep the brain healthy. A great read.
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