How Your Brain Ages & What To Do About It
Click twice to enlarge
Presented by: Term Life Insurance Resource
How the brain ages
Nice infographic above about how the brain ages from Term Life.
The figure below is taken from Trey Hedden & John Gabrieli at Stanford University. It shows the life course of different cognitive abilities underlying IQ, with declines setting in for most cognitive functions after the age of 55.
These researchers suggest a number of measures for maintaining cognitive ability levels well into old age, to help beat the statistical averages.
There are several factors that accelerate cognitive decline in older adults. Helping counter these can simply involve lifestyle choices, under control of individuals who are concerned about the risk of developing cognitive difficulties.
To quote from their review paper ‘Insights into the Ageing Mind’:
Stay intellectually engaged
At best, mental activity seems to protect against age-related declines and progression to Alzheimer’s disease. At worst, it increases an individual’s baseline level so that age-re lated declines begin to affect everyday functioning later in life. Enriched environments stimulate neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) in aging rats, indicating a possible mechanism for the benefits of cognitive stimulation
Maintain cardiovascular physical activity
Exercise aids executive function, reduces declines in tissue density in frontal, parietal and temporal cortex and might have global effects on the brain
Minimize chronic stressors
Proneness to distress, measured by the personality trait of neuroticism, is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and a faster rate of cognitive decline. Increased glucocorticoid levels, which accompany stress, might damage hippocampal neurons over the lifespan. Cortisol administration reduces glucose metabolism in the hippocampus in normal older adults
Maintain a brain-healthy diet
A diet that is high in poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (as found in fish and olive oil),vitamin E, and polyphenols and antioxidants (found in citrus and dark-skinned fruits and vegetables) might slow cognitive decline and prevent progression to Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to the above we can add with confidence:
Working memory (e.g. HighIQPro) brain training
Working memory – a type of short term memory for storing and processing information – lies at the center of all higher level brain function and it is susceptible to decline as we age. HighIQPro and other working memory training techniques, directly train working memory helps offset this cognitive decline.