What Is The Best Exercise For Your Brain
Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. Thats because it increases a persons heart rate, which means the body pumps more blood to the brain, says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate.
Cerebral Atrophy: Why Your Brain Is Shrinking And What To Do About It
Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onDecember 14, 2017
Cerebral atrophy or brain atrophy refers to the progressive loss of brain cells, called neurons, leading to decreased brain size. This phenomenon can occur to the entire brain or be focused on a singular part. The most troubling issue with cerebral atrophy is the potential for it to affect brain function, as the location of lost brain cells will potentially lead to neurological side effects.
How Do I Stop My Brain From Shrinking
Researchers say moderate exercise such as gardening and even dancing can help slow down brain shrinkage. In their study, the researchers said people who did a moderate or high level of exercise per week had brains that had the equivalent of 4 fewer years of brain aging.
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Some Lifestyle Choices Are Linked To Cognitive Decline
Posted May 3, 2013
A study released on May 2, 2013 in the American Heart Association jounal Stroke found that brain function in people as young as 35 begins to decline as heart disease risk factors increase. Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes were all linked to increased odds of cognitive decline.
Hanneke Joosten, M.D., lead author of the study said, “Most people know the negative effects of heart risk factors such as heart attack, stroke and renal impairment, but they do not realize it affects cognitive health. What’s bad for the heart is also bad for the brain.” Adding, “Young adults may think the consequences of smoking or being overweight are years down the road, but they aren’t.”
The Dutch researchers from University Medical Center in Groningen discovered:
- Participants with the most heart disease risks performed 50 percent worse on cognitive tests as compared to participants with the lowest risk profile.
- The overall Framingham Risk Score, age, diabetes, bad cholesterol and smoking were negatively linked to poor cognitive scores.
- Compared to non-smoking participants, those who smoked one to 15 cigarettes daily had a decrease in cognitive score of 2.41 points and those smoking more than 16 cigarettes daily had a decrease of 3.43 points. The memory scores had a similar association.
- Two risk factors smoking and diabetes were strong determinants of cognitive function.
Smoking and Obesity Can Cause Your Hippocampus to Shrink
Covid Exposure ’causes Brain To Shrink’ And Scientists Don’t Know Why New Study Claims
New research from Oxford University, published in Nature, claims Covid infection can reduce grey matter, especially in areas of the brain controlling smell and memory
Research carried out by the University of Oxford and published in Nature looked at brain scans from 785 people aged between 51 and 81 years old.
The study found a greater reduction in grey matter thickness in the orbitofrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus – regions associated with smell and memory of events in those who had caught the disease.
Researchers have said the findings might help explain the cognitive impairment and ‘brain fog’ associated with Long Covid.
Participants who had Covid-19 displayed evidence of tissue damage in regions associated with the olfactory cortex, an area linked to smell, and an average reduction in whole brain sizes.
The study showed in the time between two brain scans, the brains of people who had contracted Covid shrank more than those who avoided infection, an additional 0.7% overall.
The effect was especially pronounced in regions of the brain involved with smell, which was 1.8% smaller, and movement which saw an additional 0.8% shrinkage.
“But why this occurs remains largely unknown.
The UK Biobank is a large database that includes genetic and health information on half-a-million people living in the UK.
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What You Need To Know
- Your brain is shrinking as you age, costing you memories and mental sharpness.
- Worse, brain shrinkage has been directly associated with premature death.
- Causes of brain shrinkage are closely related to symptoms of aging, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and even poor sleep habits and distress.
- You may be able to prevent brain shrinkage by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and using supplements that target your own aging bodys vulnerabilities.
- Supplements that reduce your cardiovascular risk, lower your blood sugar, or improve your sleep, for example, may do double duty in slowing or stopping brain shrinkage and improving your chances for a long, mentally fit life.
Disease Stroke And Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain disorders such as Alzheimers disease, Huntingtons disease, corticobasal degeneration, posterior cortical atrophy, multiple system atrophy, and progressive supranuclear palsy can cause significant cerebral atrophy. Often times, these conditions may begin as focal atrophy and then progress to a more generalized form, with some cases leading to the patients death.
Brain injury caused by stroke or trauma often leads to the obstruction of blood flow to the brain, starving it of vital oxygen and nutrients. This leads to brain cell death and subsequent brain atrophy. If not treated in a timely fashion, the possibility of cognitive deficits or even death is very likely.
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Study: 4 Factors That May Shrink Your Brain
The four factors that were associated with faster declines in brain volume were:
High blood pressure
Being overweight or obese
The study included 1,352 adults who had an average age of 54 and did not have dementia at the start of the study. All were participants of the Framingham Offspring Cohort Study .
To start, researchers administered a battery of tests, including measures for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Starting seven years later, they measured the participants brain size using MRI scans and also gave participants cognitive tests to gauge executive function, planning and organizational skills.
The researchers found that all four risk factors were associated with faster declines in brain size: people with high blood pressure in midlife more quickly developed a condition called white matter change, in which areas of blood vessels in the brain are damaged, compared with those who had normal blood pressure.
People with diabetes had faster shrinkage in a brain region called the hippocampus, which is involved with memory. Smokers had more rapid overall brain shrinkage than nonsmokers, and also showed faster white matter changes.
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Obesity And Your Brain
Like diabetes, obesity is a known cause of brain atrophy.39 Even in people with normal cognition, higher body mass index is associated with lower brain volume in obese and overweight people.40
Obesity and diabetes share many similar mechanisms, including insulin resistance and oxidative stress, both of which are known to contribute to brain atrophy.38,41 In addition, fat deposits produce huge amounts of inflammatory signaling molecules that may contribute to brain cell death and brain volume loss.39
Additional links between obesity and brain shrinkage may be even more fundamental. About46% of Western Europeans and their descendants carry a gene variant called FTO, which is associated with fat mass and obesity. People who carry this gene weigh on average about 2.64 pounds more and have an extra half-inch of waist circumference compared to those who lack the gene variant.42 Recent findings show that carriers of the FTO gene variant have approximately 8% smaller frontal lobe volumes, and 12% smaller occipital volumes than people who dont carry this gene variant. These changes werenot associated with differences in cholesterol levels or blood pressure, suggesting an independent relationship.42
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Habits That Literally Cause Your Brain To Shrink
It might sound creepy to imagine your brain shrinking, but it’s something that’s part of the natural aging process. However, certain types of lifestyles are worse for your brain, and there are a number of habits that can cause your brain to shrink. As you can imagine, you don’t want your brain to prematurely shrink in size, so avoiding these habits can help your cognitive health be at its best.
“Although a shrinking brain seems like some kind of bad Halloween story, our habits can actually change the structure of our brain â for better or for worse,”cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, tells Bustle. “The brain is neuroplastic, which essentially means it can change. Negative behaviors and toxic environments can affect the manifold functions and structure of the brain and can potentially cause the brain to ‘shrink’ over time.”
Typically, the brain only truly shrinks in size due to aging and/or disease, which destroys cells within the brain making it physically smaller over time, cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath, tells Bustle. Most other processes simply reduce brain density, which mean they donât kill cells, but they decrease the amount of communication between them.
To keep your brain as healthy as possible, you’ll want to be mindful of these seven habits that could cause it to shrink, according to experts.
Is Brain Shrinkage Normal As You Age
It’s completely normal to experience changes in your brain as you age.
Your cerebral cortex, the wrinkled outer layer of the brain, gets thinner as you age. It’s especially noticeable in the frontal lobe, which processes memory, emotions, impulse control, problem-solving, social interaction, and motor function. Thinning can also be noticeable in parts of the temporal lobe, which is located behind the ears and helps people understand words, speak, read, write, and connect words with their meanings.
The parts of the brain that are the last to mature during adolescence are the first to start to age and shrink. Some refer to this as a “last in, first out” theory. In short, the last parts of the brain to develop as you’re growing up are the first to decline in old age.
The parts of the brain that shrink contain important nerve fibers . When your brain shrinks, there are fewer connections between neurons, and the neurotransmitter systems that communicate information from the brain to different parts of the body change, resulting in numerous complications.
All of these factors play a role in the aging process and age-related cognitive decline.
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Drugs To Reverse Brain Atrophy
Scientists are currently working to develop drugs that can reverse brain atrophy. For example, one 2019 study investigated whether or not the dementia drug donepezil could reverse alcohol-induced brain atrophy in rats.
The researchers found that the rats they treated with donepezil experienced a reduction in brain inflammation and showed an increased number of new brain cells. However, it was not clear if donepezil would have similar effects on brain atrophy resulting from causes other than alcohol-induced damage.
It is also not clear whether or not the same effects would occur in humans. Clinical trials involving human participants are necessary.
Moderate Drinkers Have Less Brain Volume So What
Posted October 14, 2008
Turns out all you need to do is have two drinks a day and, voila!, honey you’ve shrunk your brain. Such is the news coming out today from a study of about 2000 adults: teetotalers have bigger brains than either light drinkers or heavy drinkers, while the brains of heavy drinkers are smaller. Before you and your shrunken brain pour that bottle of pinot noir down the drain, and retreat to the sun deck to nurse a glass of milk , though, consider this: doctors have long known that heavy drinking can contribute to dementia. One of my favorite brain slides shows two brains, side by side. They both have a lot of cerebral spinal fluid between the cortex and the skull, and they both have a lot of CSF in the ventricles . To an untrained eye, the brains look identical, and if you were to have met their owners when they were still alive, they very well might have behaved in a similar way because both were demented. Only the one on the right had Alzheimer’s, while the one on the left was suffering from alcohol-induced dementia.
The alcohol-shrinks-your-brain theme is good for grabbing headlines, but right now it’s just an interesting “finding.” Skol!
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Drink Water Alongside That Cup Of Coffee Researchers Suggest
Dementia is a degenerative brain condition that affects memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday tasks. About 50 million people are diagnosed with the condition worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5 million senior Americans suffer from dementia. That figure is expected to balloon to 14 million by 2060, the agency predicts.
This research provides vital insights about heavy coffee consumption and brain health, but as with many things in life, moderation is the key, says senior investigator Elina Hyppönen, director of Australian Centre for Precision Health. Together with other genetic evidence and a randomized controlled trial, these data strongly suggest that high coffee consumption can adversely affect brain health. While the exact mechanisms are not known, one simple thing we can do is to keep hydrated and remember to drink a bit of water alongside that cup of coffee.
Typical daily coffee consumption is somewhere between one and two standard cups of coffee. Of course, while unit measures can vary, a couple of cups of coffee a day is generally fine, she adds. However, if youre finding that your coffee consumption is heading up toward more than six cups a day, its about time you rethink your next drink.
The findings are published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
SWNS writer William Janes contributed to this report.
How To Support Your Brain Health As You Age
âAs you get older, there are things you can do to support your brain health and help prevent cognitive decline.â
âGet physically active every day. Getting exercise increases blood flow to your entire body, especially your brain. Experts also believe that regular exercise can help reduce stress and depression and improve memory.
Eat healthy. Did you know that eating a heart-healthy diet also benefits your brain? Foods like fresh fruits, fish, lean meat, and skinless chicken are all good options.â
âAs you get older, itâs best to avoid overusing alcohol, as too much can lead to memory issues and confusion.
âStay mentally active. Activities like reading, playing word games, taking up a new hobby, enrolling in classes, or learning how to play an instrument are all great ways to stay mentally active. Consistent mental activity can help keep your memory and thought processing in good shape.
Stay social. Keeping up with friends and family is not only enjoyable, but it also helps ward off depression and stress. You may want to try volunteering or joining an organization so you get the satisfaction of helping people while maintaining positive social interaction.
Keep an eye on cardiovascular disease. Medical diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can increase your risk of cognitive decline. Talk with your doctor about treatment options and how they can help.â
A few fun ways to incorporate vitamin B into your diet include:â
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The Things That May Shrink Your Brain
Back pain, religious affiliation and wine have been linked to brain shrinkage
This article is from the archive of our partner .
Yesterday, we learned that human brains shrink but chimpanzee brains do not. It’s a curious finding that brain-scanning researchers explained to The Wall Street Journal as the price of a human’s longer lifespan: we live to around 80 years or so and chimps can live to about half that. Therefore, the explanation goes, our relative older age accounts for that normal 15 percent brain shrinkage we experience.
The finding got us thinking about brain shrinkage–it can literally be when gray matter inside your head thins out. And even though it’s described as a normal part of aging, there have been numerous studies linking brain shrinkage to things other than, say, stress and depression. Below are just a few of those news-reported items academics say also appear to hasten the process:
This accelerated shrinkage was also found in people who reported a life-changing religious experience, as well as those with no religious affiliation.The reason, the researchers speculate, is the cumulative stress that comes with being a member of a religious minority.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
Can I Prevent Cerebral Atrophy
There is no clear-cut evidence that cerebral atrophy is preventable, but taking certain steps reduces the possibility of its early or severe onset. These include exercising regularly, regulating blood pressure, and eating a healthy diet. Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are good for your gray matter.
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