Dr. Tej K.Munshi
Human life span has increased by nearly a decade in the U.S, in the past 50 years. At the same time, however, dementia cases are forecast to triple worldwide by 2050 ad.
Fast facts: Despite composing only 2 to 3 percent of total body’s weight, the brain uses about 20-25 per cent of the body’s oxygen supply and is the prime generator of the highly reactive O2 molecules(ATP) to power all the electro-physiological activity of nerve cells. According to National Institute of Health, US, supplements collectively account for 54 percent of all vitamin C intake and 64 percent of vitamin E consumption.
Many foods, especially, fruits and vegetables, contain substances that act as antioxidants, fortifying the brain’s own antioxidant defence system. Some of the most notable are selenium, co-enzyme Q, and vitamins C and E. Plants are naturally rich in their powerful antioxidants, called polyphenols. Many antioxidants are substance produced by plants as a protection against environmental assaults – by drought, overexposure to sunlight, by bugs. Health benefits of Mediterranean diet,are mainly due to the liberal use of olive oil that produce the useful antioxidant compounds, to guard against brain aging and other conditions. Just a cup of morning coffee may help against brain aging. Besides caffeine and polyphenols, and lignans in coffee are known to reduce stress and improve long-term memory. Vitamin C (called ascorbic acid), is a cofactor for a number of useful enzymes. The highest concentrationofascorbateare found in the brain. Clinical studies link VitaminC deficiency with increases in depression and cognitive impairment.
Vitamin E, a nutrient found in most of the vegetables is considered one of the most important antioxidants in the brain. That seems to make Vitamin E, supplementation a preferred treatment for curbing ageing of brain, thus maintaining its cognitive capacity.
Consumer Reports of March’ 22 reveal: Almost 34 percent of Americans and 25 percent of Europeans, believe that they have noticed signs of forgetfulness, significant enough to worry them. The numbers of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which robs sufferers of cognition, are predicted to climbing. And researchers are yet to find a reliable cure. But there is evidence that life style steps may reduce brain disease risks and help us maintain cognitive strength. The Lancet Report suggests, 12 factors within our control – including smoking, poor fitness, and obesity – are responsible for upto 40 percent of dementia cases.
Director Lisa Mosconi, inAlzheimer’s prevention at Cornell, NY, found that it’s never too late to make key lifestyle changes, and see brain benefits. It is known that hypertension, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, damage the small blood vessels in the brain affecting parts that we need for thinking and memory. Another study found that lower HDL (good) cholesterol and higher triglycerides and hi-blood glucose in young age are associated with dementia and cognitive decline.
Get Good Sleep: “When we’re asleep, our brain goes into housekeeping mode and clears out toxins that can impair brain health. While sleep needs vary from person to person, about 7 hours a night appears to be the sweet spot for the brain, according to a 2020 study published in ‘JAMA Network Open’. Getting a snooze time or a regular day nap of 1-2 hours was associated with better language use and memory in older adults.
Feeling Anxious: Both depression and chronic anxiety may make people more vulnerable to dementia, as they age. “If you’re depressed or anxious, you’re more likely to experience an increase in stress hormone levels, which are very toxic to brain cells,” says Petersen, the renowned expert. Mood issues can reduce our desire to see friends and family, and isolation itself can raise our risk of dementia.
Hearing Impairment: A number of studies suggest that hearing issues may affect our brain. A number of studies suggest that age-related hearing loss was linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline.
Choose Flavonoids: People who got a little or a daily half-serving of flavonoid – rich foods like apples, berries and pears were 20percent less likely to report thinking declines than those who rarely ate them for they curb inflammation and cell damage and aid artery blood flow.
Be Careful with Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acid supplements maybe worthwhile for those with a family history of dementia, says Mosconi. Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and foliate deficiencies have also been linked to cognitive issues.
Retire a little Later: When researchers tracked the work histories of 20,469 people, they found that those who retired sooner experienced earlier declines in memory and thinking than those who stayed on the job. Volunteering probably has similar benefits.
Practice Relaxation: Mindfulactivities like meditation may help curb brain issues involving cognitive problems. Meditation reduces stress and inflammation which are both toxic to the brain. One can spare a few minutes a day, breathing in and out slowly and deeply or relax, talk in greenery and sunshine at a nearby park.
Hang out with Friends: Socializing looks to have brain-positive effects. People who were more socially active had more healthy brain tissue than those who were less likely to spend time with others, reveals a study published in 2020. The goal has to be warding off loneliness, because it might increase levels of stress hormone cortisol that may have negative impact on brain.
Get enough physical Activity: Regular aerobic exercise boosts blood flow to our brain that involves memory and learning. Recent research recommends about 30 minutes of moderate exercise or brisk walk five times a week.
Give Yoga a try: Yoga’s benefits are two-fold: it’s effective for easing stress. With its slow, gentle movements in various poses, it may improve our ability to multitask.
Damages – reversible and irreversible– caused by Pollution, Smoking and Drinking :One review found that compared to ‘ non or never’, smokers are 34 percent more likely to develop dementia in later life for every 20 daily cigarettes. Too much alcohol or heavy drinking can kill brain neurons and accelerate memory loss. More than 14 weekly drinks was linked to brain damage and a higher dementia risk. NeuropsychiatryGary Small, advises no more than 2 drinks a day for men and no more than 1 for women. Recent research by neurologist Joel Salinas, on elderly women exposed to pollution from car emission, had caused the largest amount of brain shrinkage. Earlier research suggests that middle-aged and older people living in London’s most polluted section have a greater likelihood of dementia. People who go for regular exercises, have been advised to avoid high traffic areas, limit fire and smoke places use; keep rooms well-ventilated.
Benefits of Music: Infact, there has been a good deal of research on the likely brain benefits of playing an instrument, singing, or just listening to music. Music is associated with brain resilience and may improve mental issues and boost cognitive skills.
Dr. Tej K.Munshi