All of these suggestions could start with the phrase “scientists don’t know why, but…”. However new studies indicate that a healthy person may be able to slow, stop or even reverse some effects of aging in the brain.
Here are some suggestions on how to slow the effects of aging :
- Calm Down – Stress can destroy synapsis and seems to be the main cause of memory problems. It fouls up the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in particular, so when you think your memory is declining due to age, it could simply be that you have too much going on.
- Exercise – A 2011 University of Arizona study of healthy people aged 50 to 89 found that people who are more fit showed less decline in brain function over time. The increases blood flow to the brain during and after the workout may help keep synapses strong.
- Make Friends – Social interaction boosts brain function, possibly because it requires effort from many areas. Brandeis University researchers found that social savvy that nuanced interpersonal knowledge, such as why a face looks friendly doesn’t decline with age.
- Do What You Do Best – Expertise, a composer’s virtuosity or a professor’s knowledge of his subject remains intact throughout life. Those synapses seem to be set in stone, so an 8- year old law professor may forget where he left his glasses but still grasp the nuances of torts.
- Ask About Estrogen – A 2011 Vanderbilt University study has added another tentative pro to the pro-and-con debate on estrogen replacement. In a small, three month trail, oestrogen replacement enhanced gray matter density in the memory areas of healthy post menopausal women.
- Sleep Well – Sleep quality often declines with age, and inferior sleep can impair the ability to learn. According to research at the University of Massachusetts, fragmented sleep robs the brain of time in cortical memory making sleep stages. That reduces its ability to process information while we snooze.