On a daily basis we look at ourselves in the mirror and see the external things we can change to help slow down the aging process. Rarely do we think, at the age of 40, about the internal things we should be doing to prevent long term effects such as cognitive decline associated with aging. Cognition is a combination of skills that include attention, learning, memory, language, and executive function, such as decision making, goal setting, planning, and judgment. Decline in cognition ranges from severe dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease (the 3rd leading cause of death in the US), to mild cognitive impairment and age-related cognitive decline.

Results from a recent study of 10 patients(50-70yrs old) ranging with age related memory loss, mild cognitive impairment, and early phases of Alzheimer’s disease, show that these effects may be reversed with the therapeutic program described below.  Changing and adding a few of these steps in your life, helps the prevention of cognitive decline increase dramatically.

Diet: Your diet is critical to the brains health. One of the best ways to feed the brain for better memory is to avoid a diet high in trans and saturated fat and switch to foods high in antioxidants. Minimize simple carbohydrates, gluten, and processed foods by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fish. Supplements such as B12, Vitamin D3, CoQ10, Probiotics, Fish oil, and Coconut oil also help brain function.

Stress Management: Daily life can be stressful, but learning to balance this stress is a vital part in prevention.  Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and improve heart function.  Optimizing your sleep habits by taking 0.5mg of melatonin daily can help you get a full 8 hours of sleep, which your body truly needs.

Physical & Mental Exercise: It is recommended to spend at least 20 minutes, three times a week doing mental exercises. Examples of brain aerobics include reading, writing, playing board games, and doing crossword puzzlesSwimming, walking, cycling, or running weekly can give your body the physical exercise it needs.

In conclusion to the study, nine out of the 10 patients displayed subjective or objective improvement in cognition beginning within 3-6 months. Six of the patients had had to discontinue working or were struggling at their jobs at the time the presentation, and all were able to return to work or continue working with improved performance when they incorporated these changes into their daily routine to prevent cognitive decline.

Reference: Dale E. Bredesen –Reversal of Cognitive Decline: A novel therapeutic program