Adult neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons in the brain, and there’s long been a passionate debate concerning whether adults experience neurogenesis.
An exciting new study published in the journal Nature Medicine has found that in the hippocampus, which is the most affected area in Alzheimer’s disease, new neurons are added throughout your life.
This process called adult hippocampal neurogenesis, or AHN, shows that the entire hippocampal circuitry enjoys a significant degree of plasticity.
In the study, researchers examined human brain samples of adults up to ninety years old. Using state-of-the-art methods, they found thousands of immature neurons in the dentate gyrus, which is an area of the hippocampus that contributes to the formation of new memories, among other functions. The neurons were in varying stages of maturation along the stages of adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
By contrast, the number and maturity of neurons declined in people with Alzheimer’s disease as the disease progressed. This led the researchers to conclude that impaired neurogenesis may potentially be one of the mechanisms underlying memory loss in Alzheimer’s.
Although more research is needed, this study highlights the possibility of novel therapeutic strategies to slow the progression of the disease and that’s it’s never too late to improve your cognitive function.
There’s no doubt that the brain changes with age, but a large body of research shows that using your mind stimulates new connections between nerve cells and may contribute to neurogenesis.
Harvard Medical School recommends getting plenty of mental stimulation as you age. Learn a foreign language or a musical instrument, solve puzzles, or create art are all great ways to keep your brain active and developing.
Here are five other surefire ways to improve brain function and protect against dementia.
Regular exercise, healthy food, and adequate sleep are major contributors to good brain health.
A diet with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and lean proteins is ideal for preventing dementia.
Exercise improves the flow of blood through your body, including your brain, keeping it fueled with oxygen and improving the connections between brain cells.
Adequate sleep allows the brain and other organs the time they need to repair, and during sleep is when your memories are consolidated. (7-9 hours per night is recommended)
Poor mental health may increase the risk of cognitive decline in old age. If you have problems with anxiety, depression, insomnia, or chronic stress, your brain isn’t functioning as optimally as it could be.
The good news is, all of these conditions are highly treatable. Visit your doctor to discuss your mental health concerns.
High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of dementia.
Diabetes is an important risk factor for dementia, and keeping your blood sugar under control is paramount for a healthy brain.
High blood pressure increases the risk of cognitive decline in later years.
To reduce all of these markers, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep will go further than medication in the long-term.
However, talk to your doctor about the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make in order to get these under control.
Studies show that strong social bonds lower your risk of dementia, and they help reduce blood pressure. People who have a reliable social network live longer and are happier than those who feel lonely or isolated.
A supplement like Prostavol’s Brain Support gives your brain the nutritional powerhouse it needs to function at its highest possible level. A daily dose of Brain Support provides your brain with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to fuel awareness, alertness, focus, memory, creativity, and mood.
Good brain health requires a multi-pronged approach that involves a healthy lifestyle, an active mind, and the right nutrients. Take care of your brain, and it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.
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