As we age, most of us will expect to become more absent-minded. What we might not realize though is that we can also expect to see our IQ decline. Fluid intelligence (the ability to wrestle with an abstract concept and produce an effective answer) is negatively correlated with age, meaning that the older we become, the slower we get.
What's more, is that age brings the chance of a number of neurological disorders from Alzheimer's, to Parkinson's, to dementia.
But is this inevitable? Or is there in fact a means to reduce and prevent age-related cognitive decline? Read on and let's discover some of the most effective things you can do for your brain.
Use it or Lose It
Simply, the very best way to help prevent your brain from deteriorating is to utilize it more. The more you challenge your brain, the more you will create the necessary neurotransmitters that stimulate plasticity and that keep you learning and keep you agile.
One of the big issues as we get older, is that we often stop learning new things or subjecting ourselves to new experiences. This can actually lead to the brain becoming less flexible and adaptable and the connections that you no longer make use of will be pruned and the ones that you do use will become strengthened, making it hard to learn new tricks. A lot like an old dog!
This will also lessen the quantity of neurochemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine you produce. The result is that you eventually become much less interested in new things, even less motivated and generally less cognitively nimble.
What's also very important is to move your body much more. The brain is actually designed mainly for moving the body and this is the main manner in which it learns about its surroundings. The more you move around and the more you challenge yourself to get to know even more motor movements, the more your brain will grow and tone up.
This has actually been demonstrated in reports where it has been seen that people who move less as they age will become more likely to see decreases in fluid intelligence.
You knew this was coming, healthy eating is also really very important if you wish to increase your brain power and keep it the very best as you age. The role of good nutrition is to fuel your brain with all of the micronutrients it needs to perform efficiently ? that means amino acids to repair damage, saturated fats to help with communication through the brain and vitamins and minerals to help synthesize neurochemicals and enhance signals throughout the brain.
If you go long periods without getting nutrients in your youth, this can land up causing cumulative damage that will affect you once you're older. For these reasons, it's absolutely essential to keep feeding your brain with the best nutrients and to keep away from things like alcohol that you know are bad for it. Also vital is to find antioxidants, which will serve to help to protect the brain from destructive free-radicals that can form tumors.
Look after your brain in your youth and it will take care of you when you're older!