Search this site »
As people age, the body produces lower levels of the specific chemicals needed for optimum brain function. This dampening process begins in the mid-twenties and worsens as the body ages. Age-related memory loss is part of the body’s normal physiological changes; however, the great variance from person to person in amount of memory loss can't be solely attributed to natural aging. Factors such as diet and lifestyle play a vital role in how well a person ages.
The Standard American Diet is not conducive to healthy aging, as it relies heavily on fats and carbs. Diets high in cholesterol and saturated fat tend to reduce memory function. Not all fats are unhealthy, however; omega 3’s, in contrast to saturated fats, have been found to positively impact mental functioning, lessen memory loss and slow mental decline. The best omega 3 fatty acid sources are walnuts, flaxseeds, beans, fish, olive oil and winter squash. Even taking an omega 3 supplement may be of benefit for optimal heart and brain function.
As far as biological aids, histone deacetylase inhibitors, which are used in cancer treatment and prevention due to their tumor-prohibiting properties, are promising in combatting memory loss. As more research is done on the ways in which human bodies change chemically with aging, doctors may be able to produce supplements that can help counteract both normal and disease-related memory loss. Diseases such as cardiovascular disease and stroke drastically impair mental function as blood-flow to the brain is jeopardized.
People who continue exposing themselves to new mental challenges well into old-age may reduce the negative mental effects of aging, due to the strong possibility that learning strengthens synaptic connections. Mental challenges such as cross-word puzzles and Sudoku keep the brain fires burning. Engaging in social functions is another way to stay alert and vibrant. Watching too much television has a reverse effect on brain function.
Mental challenges, combined with physical and social activity, may allow many older adults to stay connected to their full mental capacities. It logically follows that when people stop seeing a connection between their actions and their survival and quality of life, the risk becomes greater that they will experience memory loss and other aspects of mental and physical decline.
As a large portion of human mental activity is directed toward enabling individuals to survive and thrive in their environments, patients need to realize the part that they play in staying active mentally. Yet it is unfair to discount the very real and unavoidable mental changes that happen with aging. Mental decline is unavoidable, but older adults can avoid complete mental collapse by engaging in regular mental stimulation.
This post is brought to you by Argosy University. Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding, quite another.
Click here to rate this company
Helping Psychology maintains an RSS 2.0 Feed. Click the icon to subscribe to this feed.
Optimized by Lead Maverick |
Add Your Content |