Everyone seems to think memory loss, cognitive decline, dementia, and a shrinking brain are “natural” parts of aging.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, it’s not just your biceps and quads that can get bigger and stronger with exercise. According to a new study, your brain also has the ability to get stronger, smarter, and even increase in size when you flex it.
This new study on brain health took place at the NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center in Virginia. It involved 127 adults with an average age of around 70. All of the participants had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the outset of the study. But after completing a unique 12-week “brain fitness” program, there were marked improvements in the subjects’ cognitive performance and hippocampus size (which is the section of the brain that is responsible for cognitive function).
One of the things that makes this study so compelling is that it looked at all the factors that can impact to cognitive function. You see, there are lots of different causes of cognitive decline, such as sleep problems, a sedentary lifestyle, and a lack of cognitive stimulation. And each one should be looked at and treated individually, which is just what this study did.
I also thought it was interesting that the program focused on the traditional ways we know of that can help cognitive function — like treating any underlying conditions such as hypertension and diabetes — as well as alternative approaches. The protocol included comprehensive cognitive skills training, advice on exercise, how to perform mindful meditation, (which focused on purpose of life) and the benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, including supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids.
Each participant received personalized treatment, including 5 hours of one-on-one interventions, 2 hours of both cognitive stimulation and neurofeedback, and 1 hour of counseling/brain coaching, every week for 12 weeks.
After the 12 weeks were over, the participants had brain scans and underwent neurocognitive tests to evaluate their progress. The results were remarkable — 84% of the patients had statistically significant improvements in cognitive markers like attention, executive function, problem solving, concentration, and processing speed. On top of that, 41.4% reversed their MCI, and 65% experienced re-growth in their hippocampus.
Impressive, to say the least.
I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is to exercise your brain as well as your body, and to eat foods that <a href=”https://drpescatore.com/two-simple-supplements-that-can-help-you-slam-the-brakes-on-alzheimers”>keep your brain healthy.</a>
If only programs like these were as popular as health clubs and spas are. But until that time comes, take my advice and be your own brain trainer:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods — especially vegetables, lean protein, and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)
- Take 3,000 mg of EPA and DHA from fish oil
- Take a good, quality cognitive support supplement (like my new BrainLogic formula)
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night (8 is better)
- Challenge your brain — read, do crossword puzzles, learn a new language, etc.
- Take time for quiet reflection and positive thinking
And the sooner you start, the better.