Outside the Box: 10 Gifts to Give Your Children Today That Will Help Them Tomorrow

Just because it’s wrapped in pretty paper doesn’t mean it’s valuable. Sometimes the best gifts aren’t appreciated until the child is older because they’re not “hands-on” toys, clothes, or accessories.            Here are 10 gifts that are worthy of your financial or time investment today because they “pay off” (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively) in the long run....more

The Smart Mom's Toy Box: 25 Brain-Building Toys Under $20

            If you’re reading this, there’s probably still hope that you haven’t taken out a second mortgage to pay for your children’s Rapunzel-esque Christmas wish lists. Good for you! That means there’s still hope that you can experience the perfect trifecta of gift-giving (fun, educational, and cheap!) with this list of fun but brain-boosting toys—all under $20!...more

What ADHD really feels like - adults share their experiences

I ran across this great piece in which they asked adults what it really feels like to have ADHD.http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/11/11/people-share-what-adhd-...Here are some summaries from the people responded:1. Dan: (an ADHD coach, parent and blogger)It's like living ina  room with 12 TVs on different channels while several children run around making noise and someone on the other side of the room is trying to get your attention.2. Zoe (author of an ADHD book)...more

Why women tend to have a stronger sense of smell than men

If you're like many women, being pregnant also meant developing an off-the-charts sense of smell. Perhaps it's an evolutionary thing--it keeps the mother from ingesting anything that may harm the baby.But regardless of pregnancy, a new study says that women likely have a finder sense of smell than men due to more brain cells in the olfactory bulb.For the study, researchers looked at the brains of18 people post-mortem. All were healthy and over 55 when they died. There were 7 men and 11 women. They found that the women's brains had up to 50% more olfactory neurons....more

Anxiety may expedite the onset of Alzheimer's

Oh, great. Now those of us with anxiety of yet another thing to worry about. A new study says that people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who have anxiety can further increase their risk of cognitive decline and even speed up the onset of Alzheimer's.In addition, there's mounting evidence that late-life depression could add to the risk of Alzheimer's.So how bad is the anxiety issue? According to this research from Canada, anxiety in MCI patients increased the risk of Alzheimer's by up to 135%. Yikes! ...more

More research that bullying and childhood abuse changes the brain

A psychologist at the University of Ottawa was frustrted that the media, policy makers and the public seemed to only pay attention to research on bullying if she could show that it created biological damage (vs. "just" psychological/emotion I suppose).She did a study in 2008 that showed that while boys who were bullied had higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) compared to boys who weren't bullied, girls had much lower levels of cortisol compared to girls who weren't bullied....more

Exposure to environmental pollution in first 2 years of life is linked to greater autism risk

A new study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health found that kids who were "highly exposed" to styrene and chromium (two specific air pollutants) while in utero or before age 2 were twice as likely to have autism.This is on the heels of another study from earlier this year that found that pregnant women exposed to pesticides were more likely to have kids with autism....more

Meditation and daydreaming boosts future learning

A new study from The University of Texas at Austin has shown that daydreaming and resting the mind (which I somewhat equate with meditation) not only helps strengthening memories and their storage, but also improves future learning.The team had participants do two learning taskes that required memorization. One group of participants was free to rest and think about anything between taskes. Those who used the free time to reflect on what they had learned during the day performed better in tests the second time. ...more

Don't wait until cardiac arrest reduces your brain function; Protect Your Brain NOW!

Here are some things you can do NOW to improve brain function later if you or your loved one goes into cardiac arrest:1. Make sure they're getting enough vitamin D. A recent study of patients who were resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest found that those who were deficient in vitamin D were at higher risk for poor brain function (or death).SOURCE: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283971.php...more

Do you struggle with procrastination? Take this test

This is a great piece about Caroline, a woman who struggled with serious procrastination and starting projects only to not finish them. A friend called her "butterfly brain" and her brother would call unfinished projects "a Caroline job."So she contacted the Boston Attention and Learning Lab and they brought her in for brain training. In this case, it wasn't one-on-one cognitive skills training, but rather "zapping" her head with an electromagnet for 8 minutes and some online brain training....more