What the Obamas, Tony Abbott and Richard Branson teach us about brain health

Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister, turned to me on a beach in August last year and said “Are you running hard or soft?” We happened to be crossing the starting line at the same time in a fun run along Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I spent the next 13 km trying to come up with a more witty and erudite response than, “Ummmm, I dunno?”. Mr Abbott, obviously spurred on by my brilliant insight, sprinted up the beach on the hard sand, and beat me by more than 7 minutes. He’s quite fast for a Prime Minister. But to be fair, he was then leader of the opposition. You’d be forgiven wondering how he finds the time for a fun run, let alone the ironman triathlons he also competes in. Tony Abbott is far from unusual when it comes to sporty world leaders. John Howard, Australian Prime Minister from 1996 till 2007, made a point of walking every morning, and reportedly clocked up 20,000km over the 11 years he was in office. He encouraged people to walk whenever they could, “It doesn’t matter ..

Your life’s purpose. Why finding your passion is essential to maintaining brain health.

’ I’ve been writing this brain health blog since 2013, and it has become one of my life’s great passions – my ‘north star’. I wake up every morning buzzing with excitement about the day ahead. Besides trying my hardest to be the best Mum and wife I can be, my passion is writing about neuroscience. My goal is to provide impeccably-researched evidence-based stories that are told in a simple, fun and compelling way. Your ‘purpose in life’. Your north star, your passion, your bliss, your inner voice, your wisdom, your calling. What do you call it? I believe what Mastin Kipp from The Daily Love says, “Your bliss and your purpose are the same thing” Chris Crowley of ‘Younger Next Year’ calls it a ‘kedge’ which is his term for ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Whatever word you choose to call it … People who have meaning and purpose in their life have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment in later life. Dr David Bennett, Director of the Memory and Aging ..

Online brain training. Does it really work?

When I was about 8 years old, Dad (who has always been quite ahead of his time in acquiring technology) brought home a computer. Our new machine was called a ‘Colour Genie’ and was one of the first computers to have a colour monitor. It only had a few games that we loaded up via a cassette — remember those good old days? A few weeks ago, one of my boys came up to me looking a bit puzzled and holding a music cassette. He’d never seen a tape before and had no idea what it was! Time and technology move so fast that it is hard to keep pace, unless of course, you are my Dad! Technology is having a big impact on the health industry and brain health is no exception. Now that this blog is up and running and I’ve started to talk to people about neuroscience, one question that keeps coming up… Does cognitive brain training work? So, I thought I’d look into it a bit more… Firstly, what is brain training? It might be Google’s very clever response to my search interests in neuroscience and bra..