A key approach of Brain Renewal Meditation (BRM) is to communicate our methods clearly, to make sure as many people as possible understand what it is we do. This glossary provides explanations for most of the specialist terms that we use across the website. Inevitably we will give too much detail for some users and too little for others. As BRM is at the cutting edge of the science of meditation we aspire to communicate our research and training methods to the widest possible audience. Our mission is not simply to provide brain renewal training but also to communicate important research about preserving brain health. If you have some thoughts about how clearly we explain things drop us a line. If you come across a term on this website which doesn’t appear in the glossary but you think it should, let us know.
Terms used in the glossary are simply sorted in alphabetical order, where a fuller explanation of a term is needed a link is provided to a more detailed explanation.
|Age-Related Cognitive Decline||Refers to the presumption that there is a ‘typical’ rate of cognitive decline which is related to our chronological age.|
|Brain Function||All the functions of the brain, both conscious and unconscious such as breathing, movement, memory, problem solving and perception.|
|Brain Structure||Any of the physical structures making up the entire human brain.|
|Cognitive/Cognition||Any of the human thought functions or mental processes requiring or engaging with knowledge, experience or sensory input.|
|Cognitive Decline||See cognitive impairment.|
|Cognitive Impairment||A reduction or limitation in mental function, frequently but not always linked to declining brain function and structure.|
|Dementia||A syndrome which is characterized by problems in one or more of the following areas, memory, speed of thought, day to day understanding, mood, emotions, movement and a decline in the ability to function independently. There are many different forms of dementia but Alzheimer’s dementia and vascular dementia are the two most common.|
|Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)||As the human brain ages, there is an assumption of a typical or ‘natural’ rate of cognitive decline. MCI is a diagnosis of a cognitive decline greater than the ‘natural’ rate. MCI often (but not necessarily) precedes a diagnosis of a neurological degenerative condition such as dementia.|
|Neurodegeneration||A term used to describe conditions linked to the ongoing loss in the function and structure of brain cells (neurons). Typically but not restricted to the death of neurons.|
|Neurogenesis (Adult)||The creation of new neurons (brain cells) in adults. Controversial evidence exists that new brain cells may be created, particularly in the hippocampus.|
|Neuroimaging (brain imaging)||The use of different technological techniques to make images of the brain’s function and/or structure, either directly or indirectly.|
|Neurology||The scientific study of nerves and the nervous system.|
|The ability of the brain to restructure over time, leading to augmentation and attenuation in function as well as complex functional reorganization.|