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Increasing Your IQ and Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease



Playing Games Playing games such as cross words, puzzle games, strategy games, tetris, dual n back, lumosity games, sudoku, and first person shooters has been shown to have a positive impact on a variety of brain functions including executive functions, working memory, short term memory, spatial awareness, and others. These games exercise your brain and allow your brain cells to adapt and form stronger connections, improving cognitive functions.

Exercise and Diet Evidence suggests that diets high in fruits and vegetables (green leafy vegetables) and low in trans and saturated fats, similar to the mediterranean diet, are associated with higher IQ test scores and lower rates of cognitive decline. Regular cardiovascular exercise also has beneficial effects on brain health. Maintaining a regular exercise routine along with a healthy diet also decreases your risk of developing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol which are being investigated in order to determine possible links to Alzheimer's disease.

Listening to music that you love or learning to play an instrument has been associated with improved spatial intelligence, memory, and increased overall intelligence.

Meditation techniques such as transcendental meditation can improve focus, memory, and cognitive performance. Meditation can help to increase your IQ along with helping you to perform better under pressure. Research has shown that pressure, or awareness of an intelligence test being underway can cause individuals to perform worse on intelligence tests.

Reading and Education: Although accumulating information and facts is different from working memory and fluid intelligence, there is some overlap between them and one can benefit the other. Strengthening the fundamentals of math and science, doing mental math instead of using calculators, and learning anything that is very interesting to you can stretch the brain’s ability and lead to increases in overall intelligence. Learning actively in groups, meeting and communicating ideas with people, and seeking education through new life experiences can all be beneficial to your intelligence and are also associated with a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Learning something new, developing a new skill, and using your non dominant hand for every day tasks, can all help to increase the ability of the brain.

Learning a Second Language: Differences in brain functionality have been noted when comparing bilingual and monolingual brains.When a bilingual person switches between languages, more parts of the brain are activated (particularly the dorsolateral and inferior prefrontal cortex) then are activated in a monolingual person speaking their language. Bilingual people also show more brain activation when listening to language. Higher grey matter density has also been noted in the left hemisphere's prefrontal cortex of bilingual people. The grey matter increases seem to be most pronounced in individuals who learned a second language before age 5, and most cognitive benefits are seen in people who switch between both languages on a regular basis. Studies have shown a variety of cognitive improvements in memory, focus, multitasking, math, and reading in bilingual participants. One study has shown that thinking in a second language results in a less emotional response, which could improve decision making ability. Bilingualism is associated with a later onset of dementia by about 5 years (the mind remains sharper for longer).

Fasting: Research is showing that intermittent fasting and caloric restriction can have many health benefits. Two studies in humans have shown that fasting increased verbal memory ability. Multiple studies have demonstrated the improved cognitive function fasting can have on rats. Proposed mechanisms explaining the advantageous effects of fasting include an increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In rats, studies have shown that intermittent fasting increases BDNF which aids the brain in the growth, development, and protection of neurons during times of stress, which can help them survive longer.

Avoiding Decreases in IQ: Some of the things that can negatively affect the brain are smoking, being overweight, high stress, multi tasking and binge drinking. Interestingly, one of the reasons people do not perform as well as they could have on intelligence tests is because of what they believe. Studies have shown that when individuals are told they are taking an intelligence test, they do not perform as well as they do when they are told that they are playing a puzzle game. People who don’t believe that they can grow, learn and improve, don’t achieve as much growth or improvement. Believing in yourself and avoiding those who are negative and discourage you, and believing that you can grow and learn more as time goes on will help you achieve growth.

Supplements: Substances such as creatine, omega 3 fatty acids, and ginko biloba have demonstrated a variety of effects on the brain.

Ginko Biloba has been shown to decrease memory symptoms from active Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and has shown dose dependent increased speed of attention in young healthy individuals. No evidence has shown that Ginko Biloba can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been shown to have a wide range of beneficial effects on bipolar disorder, autism, and cognitive decline. Omega 3 fatty acids decrease the amount of free radicals and inflammation within the body, protecting your cells from damage and helping them to communicate.

Creatine has shown to positively affect memory and brain energy and is associated with higher intelligence test scores. It has been associated with lower fluctuations of oxygen in the bloodstream which occur as a response to brain energy being used.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C could help improve mood, cognitive performance and brain fatigue. It acts as an antioxidant protecting the cells in the body from free radical damage and also can promote the activity of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with positive mood.

B complex: B complex is essential in the production of the neurotransmitters the brain cells use to communicate with each other. Studies have also shown that B vitamins can promote neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells in the brain. We now know that neurogenesis can occur in the hippocampus of adult humans. It is also associated with enhanced mood and reduction of stress hormones.


References:

1. Woodruff, Mandi. "Here's Why Bilingual People Make Better Financial Choices." Business Insider. Business Insider, 25 Apr. 2012. Web. 26 May 2017.

2. "Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains." Penn State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2017.

3. And, Anitra C Carr. "Anitra C Carr." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. N.p., 01 June 1999. Web. 26 May 2017.

4. Kennedy, David O., Rachel Veasey, Anthony Watson, Fiona Dodd, Emma Jones, Silvia Maggini, and Crystal F. Haskell. "Effects of High-dose B Vitamin Complex with Vitamin C and Minerals on Subjective Mood and Performance in Healthy Males." SpringerLink. Springer-Verlag, 08 May 2010. Web. 26 May 2017.

5. Marc E Surette. The science behind dietary omega-3 fatty acids.CMAJ. 2008 Jan 15; 178(2): 177–180.

6. Schellenberg. Music and IQ. http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/music-iq/.

7. Amy S. The science of why music improves our memory and verbal intelligence. The Washington Post. July 21, 2015.

8. Carter, Rita, Susan Aldridge, Martyn Page, Steve Parker, Christopher D. Frith, Uta Frith, and Melanie B. Shulman. The Human Brain Book. NY, NY: DK, 2014. Print.



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