Now that I have done my best to convince you of the importance of exercise for brain health in the last two newsletters, I’ll give you some fun things to do to exercise your brain.

One important note-Last week the results of two studies came out, with seemingly contradictory results. A study posted on the on 4-25-20 found that brain-training software doesn’t improve brain function any more than answering questions on the Internet. Another study published in the journal “Neurology” found that people who engage in activities that exercise the brain, had a slower rate of decline if they later developed dementia. What these two studies tell me is that you don’t have to do specific “brain games” to improve your cognition, but it is important to do activities that stimulate your brain.

Go to the bottom of this entry for the answers to #1 & 2.

Brain Games

The first two exercises come from “The Healthy Brain Kit” by Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Gary Small. The third game comes from “The Sharper Mind” by Fred B. Chernow, though I have done a version of it since I was in college.

#1 Count the number of F’s in the following sentence:

“Fresh fish is an excellent source of omega-3’s and a better source of antioxidants than many realize.”

#2 See how many words you can spell from the letters below. No letter may be used twice in the same word, and each word must have the letter “L” in it. (Hint: there are 28 possible words.)


#3 This exercise is one of my favorites, and I present it at most of my brain health talks. I can literally feel my brain working when I do it.

You can do this exercise at any time. You only need a sheet of paper and something to write with. Choose any 5-letter word that comes to mind. It needs to have 5 different letters. Select a category such as animals, vehicles, birds, flowers, cities, etc. Draw four lines down the paper and write one letter of the word at the top of each column. Try to find as many items as you can in each category. You can add to the list in your spare moments.

For this version, I used the word “Brain” and chose the category of animals. I included one example for each letter. Fill in as many as you can. If “animals” is too difficult, choose the category “foods” or some other category you know well. (Note, I can’t figure out how to do a table in this blog, so you will just have to imagine the table.)

B Bear
R Rabbit
A Aardvark
I Impala
N Newt

I Feel Almost Famous

I am pleased to say that a company for which I used to work, Screen Inc., which developed a computerized screening measure for mild cognitive impairment, was mentioned in

The name of the measure is the CANS-MCI. If you click on the “reliable and valid” link in the article, under the section entitled “The SAGE test for Alzheimer’s”, you will be taken to a link of an article I published.

To view the article, go to:

Answer to #1: There are four; many people don’t process the word “of.”

Answer to #2: Able, agile, ail, ale, bagel, bail, bale, bile, blog, boil, bole (I had to look this one up, it means the stem or trunk of a tree), gale, gel, glib, glob, globe, goal, goalie, lab, lag, lea, leg, lie, lob, lobe, log, oblige, oil

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