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Diet, Exercise and Old Brains

Diet, Exercise can help keep Brain Fit in Old Age. Dallas Morning News date April 21, 2015

Adults of a certain age seem to have trouble finding their keys, or remembering what it was they meant to buy at the store. It’s a normal part of aging, different from diseases like Alzheimer’s but still challenging.

A Committee of medial professionals took a look at this in “Cognitive Aging,” a report issued earlier for the Institute of Medicine, a brand of the National Academy of Sciences. The report notes that brain health benefits from some of the same habits of exercise and diet that keeps the rest of the body healthy. The fatty acids in a nice piece of salmon, for example, can hold off cognitive decline.  Adequate sleep, lower stress, social ties and lifelong learning also help counteract cognitive decline.

An unhealthy diet, stress, loneliness, lack of exercise and poor sleep can make cognitive aging much worse. That effects a person’s independence and has a major financial impact on society at large because of the cost of both professional and family care giving. In 2009, there were 39 million Americans 65 o older. By 2030 that number will increase to 72 million.

Aging wears down more than the brain’s ability to remember. Attentiveness, problem-solving skills, understanding and decision making are all affected. The report stresses that this decline in mental acuity is not a disease. Alzheimer’s is not a disease. Alzheimer’s a widely feared brain illness, involves the loss of neuronal connections within the brain. Messages no longer get through. The disrupted nerve cells break down and die.

Cognitive aging, on the other hand is dynamic. Troubled reasoning one day can be followed by a clear headed grasp of events the next. The frequency of these sorts of issues is greater after age 65, however. Many people over 85 have more trouble with the judgment needed for driving, financial decisions and even overall health.

Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the Institute of Medicine, said on consequence of this financial abuse of the elderly-frauds that take in older people and rob them of $2.9billion a year. The good news is that there are things we can do to support other parts of the body as they age, and we can do that for the brain too. Dzan said, “And much of it is straightforward –exercise, get active, don’s smoke, get a lot of sleep.”

The committee reviewed more that 20 years of studies regarding cognitive aging. It found little evidence to support commercial claims that extra vitamins or nutritional supplement improve cognition.  One remarkable idea supported by the research is the brain’s ability to build a “cognitive reserve” that can be used to ward of normal ageing and slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Lifelong learning and reading seems to build this reserve. They “increase the flexibility, efficiency and capacity of brain networks.” the report notes. “Lower educational attainment,” on the other hand, “was associated with worse cognitive outcomes.”

It’s not all downhill. The report notes something that earlier societies accepted more readily experienced enhances knowledge. “Changes in mental functions and capabilities are a part of aging and occur with everyone,” said Dan G. Blaze an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. Wisdom and knowledge can increase with age, while memory and attention can decline.  

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Bill Marshall
BBS Realty
Broker BBS Realty 8812 Landmark Ln
Denton, TX 76207
Phone: 940-390-9789
Email: Billmarshall@RobsonRanch.net


Bill Marshall managed our rental house on Grandview Drive for 8 years. We were absentee landlords living in Virginia. Bill took care of everything concerning the rental. He collected the rent money and deposited it in our bank account. He took care of all the maintenance in our absence, arranged for new tenants, took care of getting the house ready for the new tenants such as arranging for the cleaning before they moved in. He did other numerous things, such as arranging for a new water heater and a new AC system to be installed. He took care of many of the renters' needs, such as changing smoke detecting alarm batteries and light bulbs, preparing the sprinkling system for winter, arranged for yard maintenance, and the repair of a water leak in the front yard. When we sold this house, Bill took care of the closing in a very professional way. We highly recommend him as a real estate rental manager. Bill was our realtor when we bought and closed on our present residence on Oak Brook Court. We were not in Texas when we closed. Both the sale and closing were very well done with no problems. Before we moved in. Bill arranged for a flooring and grout company to put in new floors and countertops. We were very pleased with everything. We highly recommend Bill as a realtor. Cal & Mary Mullins
We realized what a professional, detailed, and thorough realtor Bill Marshall is when we sold our home at Robson Ranch and our home in Florida within days of each other. Bill made the process go so smoothly and seamlessly; but the sale in Florida was bogged down with miscommunication, delays, confusion, and frustration. Bill was also our rental agent and again, he handled everything for us, with no worries. We would recommend Bill Marshall to anyone looking to move to Robson Ranch, TX. He is knowledgeable about Real Estate, and also knows all about the amenities and activities in the whole area. And if he doesn't know - he'll find out!! With Bill, the customer comes first and proves that every day. Sheila and Allen Wolf.
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