As We Get Older
Almost everyone experiences some decline in memory and reaction time after age 40. But a rich network of neural connections...links between brain cells that allow them to communicate... can help compensate for these losses.
A rich neural network may even help keep people from being incapacitated by alzheimer's disease.
Extensive neural connections seem to act as a kind of cognitive reserve...allowing a person to function longer with the disease than someone whose mental resources were less extensive.
The Good News is: Brain cells can form new connections at any age. By developing a consuming passion your brain is involved in a wide range of activities, more neural circuits are created and maintained. Also by cultivation an interest in something totally different from your customary pursuits. A lawyer might take up bridge...or an accountant might learn to play the clarinet. It's also a good idea to take classes in unfamiliar subjects. Studies have shown that higher education early in life helps ensure proper brain functioning in old age. It seems likely that intellectual activity later in life builds cognitive reserves as well.
Get Regular Exercise
When making a point to exercise daily, you keep the heart and lungs healthy, exercise boost blood flow to the brain, fueling it with oxygen and glucose. Another excellent form of exercise is the gentle Chinese martial art tai chi.
Take Supplements sensibly; cellular damage caused by free radicals---renegade molecules formed in the body as a by-product of normal metabolism...is thought to be a major cause of age-related mental decline.
To neutralize free radicals, i make sure to get enough of the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables...and take a supplement containing over 10,000 international units (IU) of beta-carotene (the precursor of vitamin A)...1,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C...and 400 IU of vitamin E.