Remember Oscar the Grouch?
Turns out that grumbly green guy has the right idea after all – especially if you want to beat one of today’s most devastating diseases of aging… cognitive decline.
Sure, Oscar might live in a trash can. But he could be living large where it matters MOST as new research finds people who take a cue from Oscar could have stronger and healthier brains.
And if YOU are cranky… grouchy… or just plain disagreeable… at least some of the time… you just might be able to reduce your own risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The link between aging and cognitive decline
Let’s face it. We all secretly love the grumps and grouches, and not just Oscar.
From Walter Matthau in “Grumpy Old Men” to Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino” to Burgess Meredith in the “Rocky” films, the stereotype of the cranky oldster always steals the show.
And when Peter Finch yells, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore,” who doesn’t stand up and join in?
Now, the latest research shows how these folks might have the edge over the rest of us. Because as it turns out, being “disagreeable” could be a sign of a brain better built to withstand the rigors of aging.
As we get older, some of the neuronal networks in the brain start to short-circuit. It’s the earliest consequences of age-related cognitive decline.
But you don’t notice it. Well, not right away, anyway.
See, our brains are pretty resilient. In the early stages of cognitive decline, your noodle reroutes signals through other networks, compensating for those damaged neurons.
The baffling benefits of being disagreeable
Eventually, however, it catches up with most folks by about 10-12 years later. But the new study finds the process unfolds at a different pace for different personalities.
And according to researchers, it’s the folks who are disagreeable, nonconformist, and naturally curious who can hold out the longest.
Their Oscar-style brains tend to remain better preserved for longer. And they lose less volume due to the dreaded “brain shrink” that often accompanies both age and cognitive decline.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should change your personality. And of course, don’t turn into a jerk. There’s a BIG difference between a lovable curmudgeon and a nasty sourpuss.
But if you ARE a little on the crabby side… if you’re known as a bit of an Oscar yourself… don’t go changing, either. And if anyone wants to give you a hard time about it, just tell them in your best grouchy voice, “Zip your lips. I’m just fighting off cognitive decline!” And then remind them that being a grump doesn’t mean you’re unhappy. You just like to express yourself freely.
But don’t worry if you’re the sweet as honey type. You can still get an edge, too. For everyday brain support, nothing out there beats a combo of omega-3 fatty acids and a B complex.
And if you’re facing some cognitive hiccups, look for a natural memory-supporting formula with proven ingredients such as EGCG, a nutrient, found in green tea, and curcumin, the brain-boosting compound found in the spice turmeric.