Tune your brain on the Internet

One minute you’re at the top of your class, the next you’re trying to remember what’s-his-face from that thing you went to that time – you know… the thing.

As we get older we forget things. Some believe this process is accelerated by factors like exposure to mercury and other metals, and from the liberal use of alcohol or drugs. Some believe it’s genetic, a natural occurrence that takes place when your brain cells don’t replicate like they used to.

For others, memory loss is a serious problem, a symptom of diseases like Alzheimer’s that can leave people so incapacitated that they require full-time care.

But while the risk of memory problems increases with age, there is no minimum age to start experiencing memory loss, or for contracting medical conditions that impact on cognitive powers and memory. In other words it could happen to you, if it isn’t happening already.

The most recent edition of Wired has an article titled Brain Workouts May Tone Memory, which compiles some of the most recent data on memory issues and the tricks that people can use to prolong the inevitable.

According to most studies, people who fully use their brain power on a regular basis lose it less as they age, even when you factor in medical conditions like Alzheimer’s. In addition, people who make an effort to actively exercise their brain through constant learning and testing, are generally better off down the road because they have built stronger neural connections.

There are several websites out there with advice and tools to exercise your encephalon, lube up your lobes and stretch out your cerebellums.

The first site recommended by Wired is the New England Cognitive Centre at . Other good spots are the Alzheimer’s Association’s Maintain Your Brain site at , and the American Society on Aging’s Mind Alert site at .

While these sites are geared primarily for seniors there’s lots of good stuff there for everybody.

When you exhaust what those sites have to offer, try visiting a few of these other sites. – The official website for the famed Jeopardy game show has its own online games to play. – The Wikipedia is an open-source encyclopedia with a little something about everything. Ever want to know what Scientology is? What Einstein’s theory of relativity is all about? This is a good place to start.

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