Friday, March 09, 2012

A Young Mind and Sharp Memory


Truth is folks the brain shrinks with age, and memory declines once you turn 30. It is said a warning sign might be "Where did I place my keys?" or as neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., co-author of Welcome to Your Brain terms it, the "Tip of the tongue" phenomenon. Further studies show the adult brain can shrink as much as 1/2 to 1 percent annually in midlife, as neurons in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus wither, and the branches between them thin. The addition of changes in hormones depletes the nutrients, estrogen and progesterone, limiting blood flow to the brain. A gummy protein called amyloid plaque that can hamper neuronal function and cognitive decline may be exacerbated. It all stems back to those pesky branches. Dr. Young, author of Sick and Tired, speaks to reclaiming all areas of your inner terrain taking into account the brain as being a part of the whole person.


The statistics are one in five people older than 65 suffer from "mild cognitive impairment" (persistent memory problems severe enough to be noticeable by others). As we achieve the benchmark of 90, the Alzheimer Association says, many of us could ultimately be diagnosed with the disease. Obviously, I believe our results can be very different which is why I'm writing this article. There are many things you can do to circumvent those statistics to maintain the bulk and function of your brain. I'm not alone in my thinking. Dr. David Perlmutter, co-author of Power Up Your Brain appears to be of the like mind.


Proactive measures:
  • Stay lean: "The key to the brain maintaining and even regenerating itself is the activation of a set of genes that code for a protein called, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)" -Dr. Pelmutter. To sum this point up, you should not be overweight especially in the prime of your life. It increases inflammation and free radical production that is found to be two enemies of a healthy brain. Kaiser Permanente found people in their 40's and obese had a 74 percent increased risk of developing dementia later in life. So trim down and stay fit!
  • Consume foods that build the brain: Omega 3 fatty acids DHA is an anti-inflammatory and promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. Remember that! Eating more fish or omega-3 supplements like Omega E-ssentials Caps, dark-colored fruits rich in antioxidants known to combat free radicals, and vegetables as with SuperGreens and Liquid Chlorophyll, and cutting back on refined carbohydrates is advised by Dr. Christine Northrup obstetrician, gynecologist and author of Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom to be excellent foods for the brain.
  • Maintain hormonal balance: Estrogen plays a critical role in influencing memory (verbal and spatial), motor skills and bolstering the barriers of the brain to keep toxins out. Stress, menstruation and menopause effect the balance of hormones. Women that are stressed out or not nourishing themselves, tend to experience adrenal fatigue, so their adrenals are not able to act as a secondary source of hormones, says Hawaii naturopathic physician Laurie Steelsmith, author of Natural Choices for Women's Health. Older men and women experiencing age-related memory loss can try a soy-based nutritional supplement such as SuperSoy Powder. I suggest Mens and Womens supplement bundles for excellent support.
  • Keep fit the mind and body: A common cause of decline can also be the accumulation of clogged blood vessels in the brain that choke off blood and oxygen. Regular exercise is the best thing you can do to maintain cognitive abilities later in life. Exercising the brain staves off atrophy in the elderly. How do you exercise the brain? Expose yourself to new experiences that prompt the brain to literally lay down new neuronal networks making them stronger. Playing board games, quilting, building model airplanes; learning a new language or instrument and learning a computer software. What you must NOT do is the same thing "day in and day out", as they say. Stop doing the same crossword puzzle. Instead try something new. As actress Jane Fonda, Laurie Steelsmith and others have said, "Use it or lose it." Sounds like good advice and definitely worth a try.
Suggested Supplements: Omega E-ssentials caps, Ultra D, SuperGreens, Liquid Chlorophyll, Prime pH, Mega Vita-Min, B Complex, B12 and BioLight and LightenUp Bundle.