Most people are concerned about keeping their brains healthy and active as they age. With high anticipated rates of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia projected for the future, this should be important for everyone. Indeed, the Alzheimer’s Association reports that 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. To learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, read our article about Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Arizona Will and Trust Contests. So, what exactly can we do to keep our minds in top shape?
Research regarding brain health has come a long way. Before getting to the current recommendations, here are some tips, published over 400 years ago in 1596, to keep your brain healthy from author A.T., written in his book A Rich Store-House or Treasury for the Diseased:
- Eat sage, but not too much
- Keep the head warm
- Wash your hands often
- Smell red roses
- Wash your temples with rose water
- Drink wine, measurably, and
- Listen to little music
A.T. also lists what can cause illness in the brain:
- Late suppers
- Too much bathing
- Too much watching
- Cheese and garlic
- Too much noise
- Smelling white roses
- Being bare-headed
We wonder what people will think of our current brain research 400 years from now.
Now on to the current research. According to an October 2015 article written by Foster Kamer the following will enhance brain health:
- Sleep: Getting plenty of sleep is one of the best ways to hone your recall and also to help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. To learn more about the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and sleep, read our article discussing the research from the University of California, Berkeley.
- Watch less TV: Perhaps another obvious tip is to watch less television. The 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference study, “Early Adult Patterns of Physical Activity and Television Watching…,” confirmed that adults who spend more time watching television are 1.5 times more likely to experience cognitive decline over their lifetimes than their counterparts who watch less television. There are also other health benefits to leading a less sedentary lifestyle, so putting down the remote is likely healthy for your brain as well as the rest of your body!
- Most surprisingly, another study presented at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, “Moderate Caffeine Consumption is Associated with Better Memory Scores…, indicates that adults who consume a moderate amount of caffeine, roughly two to five cups per day, have a strong correlation with increased memory. Interestingly, the study also showed that older adults who consume alcohol have no long-term differences in memory.
While the discussion of ways to keep your brain healthy has substantially changed over time, there is little doubt that research is important in order to help us understand, prevent, and cure diseases of the brain. It is difficult enough to watch a loved one suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but it also leaves them vulnerable to elder abuse or exploitation. Our article on Elder Abuse Is Everyone’s Concern discusses warning signs of elder abuse and exploitation. If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of elder abuse or financial exploitation, please contact us to schedule a consultation.