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As we age, we often lament that we can’t process information as quickly as before, that we can’t remember the critical things we had lined up for the day, and that staying focused takes more effort. 

We ask, “Why is that word on the tip of the tongue so elusive?” We may find ourselves in front of the computer with the search engine open, looking blankly at the screen as we struggle to remember what we sat down to search for.

If you’re asking any of these questions or feel like your brain isn’t performing to the standard it once did, don’t worry, this is normal. But, most importantly, through research and real-life application, we now know that the brain can be strengthened and performance enhanced by harnessing neuroplasticity

Our Brains as We Age, and the Power of Neuroplasticity

As we age, our brains age with us, performing less efficiently. Things we did automatically when we were younger take more time and effort. This is natural.

But, what if we could keep our brains honed and sharp as we age? We make resolutions at the start of each new year to go to the gym to enhance our physical well-being, so why not our brains?

Research into neuroplasticity informs us it is possible to keep our brains sharp over our lifespan.  Structural and functional changes occur in our brains as a result of stimulation and experience as long as we are alive, thanks to the principles of neuroplasticity

By identifying weaknesses within our cognitive functions - which you can learn more about on our Cognitive Function page - we can use targeted cognitive programming to improve specific cognitive functions and strengthen the brain. 

When done consistently over a sustained period of time, this targeted neuroplasticity training creates transformative experiences for those who participate. Individuals can enhance areas of their brain that were previously struggling - whether it comes to processing speed, memory, communication, problem solving, and emotional intelligence. 

All of these improvements allow us to enhance our performance at work, in our leisure activities, and increase our ability (and drive) for lifelong learning and transform our lives on a day-to-day basis. 

Real-Life Success Stories of Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Training in Action 

Arrowsmith has understood and applied these principles for over 40 years to enhance cognitive functioning for individuals of all ages. 

We strongly believe that cognitive enhancement through the application of the principles of neuroplasticity is a right that should be accessible to all. Here’s an example of how the Arrowsmith Program can help strengthen the brain. 

Frank is an example of what is possible. A successful entrepreneur, Frank at 73 years old had started to notice slippage. “I had to admit to myself, reluctantly,” he says, “that my memory had gotten much worse and my analytical capacities had deteriorated. My thinking had become fuzzy and less inclined to follow a thought through to its conclusion. Taking in new data was getting more difficult, reading took longer, and concentrating required more effort. On a scale from one to 10 (10 being my best in life), I had declined to a seven or an eight – and I am perhaps being kind to myself.”

So, to deal with his own gradual but perceptible decline in mental acuity, Frank decided to enroll in the Arrowsmith Symbol Relations Cognitive Enhancement Program. 

Frank feared that boredom would set in. “I couldn’t have been more surprised,” he says. “The exercise draws you in. You are constantly trying to beat your last record and as you get better, you enjoy the progress as you notice your brain functioning better, which is a great motivator.

After a couple of months, Frank observed changes. His ability to follow and express ideas sharpened and in discussions, he felt calmer and more willing to consider other ideas and proposals. And he took on some challenging projects that he would otherwise have resisted.

Frank says, “My advice for older people like myself who want to keep their brain functioning in the best possible way despite the natural aging process is definitely to try the Arrowsmith Program. It is not difficult to stay motivated and it brings amazing results. I am grateful every day for this opportunity, which has allowed me to improve my mental capacity and I see improvement from week to week.” 

Frank describes what he calls “the most dramatic and transformative” of all the changes – “an increased joie de vivre that permeates all aspects of my life. No struggle anymore to get up and go in the morning. While before I had to convince myself to look forward to the day optimistically, now it is my default mood. In addition, and this qualifies most clearly as a personality change, I am becoming more social. I start conversations with people – in the gym, for example, whereas before a quick ‘hello’ would suffice. I find it quite remarkable that even at my age this type of profound change is still possible.

Are you interested in how Arrowsmith can help you strengthen your brain, through targeted cognitive programming? Reach out to our team today and schedule a Cognitive Assessment, where we’ll help you gain a full understanding of your unique cognitive profile and what steps are required for a stronger brain. 

Learn About the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
Post by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
February 29, 2024
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the international best-selling author of The Woman Who Changed her Brain, and a pioneer in using neuroplasticity to change the brain, cognition, learning and social-emotional well-being of learners worldwide. Though she began life with severe learning disabilities, she built herself a better brain and developed the Arrowsmith Program, which has helped thousands to increase their capacity to learn.