Aging and the Brain....spreading Dementia Awareness.
The brain ages just like any other organ. But for some reason we take it for granted and assume that it does not require as much attention as our body does. We fail to realize that the brain IS the body and our physical, emotional, and intellectual activity all affect how it ages.
We are living longer and that's great. But that also means our body and brain need to be sustainable for a longer period of time. The brain is an interesting organ. Unlike other organs in the body, the brain is able to adapt itself according to the environment to which it is exposed. It is able to change and "mold itself" which is a concept scientists call "Neuroplasticity". Put it simply, the brain is made of billions of nerve cells all of which are inter-connected by electro-chemical spaces known as synapses. Think of the brain as a huge network of circuits all of which are inter-connected in a multitiude of ways. Circuits that are used more often tend to fire more efficiently. Nerve cells that continuously "fire together wire together". This is essentially how are thoughts are formed.
Now for the intersting part. How do we improve the sustainability of our brain and keep it from degenerating? Two words... BLOOD FLOW. Recent studies performed on mice and monkeys are continuing to confirm that aerobic exercises in particular increases blood flow to the brain and improves memory, improves nerve health, and promotes positive behavioral changes all of which may reduce dementia risk.
We are far from fully understanding the intricate workings of the brain. As our aging community grows, however, it is important to stress the importance of exercise and proper nutriton, along with positive thinking in order to decrease dementia risk and promote health and wellness in our geriatric population.