Many people believe occasional lapses in memory are normal and part of getting old, but medical research shows us that `senior moments’ should not be viewed as normal aging and are cause for concern. Cognitive decline and loss of short term memory are caused by the same process that leads to the most feared form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately there are a number of lifestyle altering steps you can take to lower disease risk, prevent progression and improve your memory.
Early Memory Loss Leads to Alzheimer`s Disease
The results of a study published in the journal Neurology shows that occasional forgetfulness as we age should not be regarded as normal and is actually the early stage of dementia. The study followed 350 nuns and priests over a 13 year period and involved annual cognitive testing.
The brain tissues of the participants were examined after death to assess the physical markers that are linked with dementia. The researchers found that those with the most marked cognitive decline exhibited the highest degree of brain lesions and tangles that are typically found in Alzheimer’s patients. The study authors were able to associate even the mildest cognitive decline with physical brain lesions.
Poor Lifestyle and Diet are Behind the Dementia Explosion
The rapid increase in Alzheimer’s disease cases over the past 50 years is due to the excessive amount of processed foods that are consumed at every meal. These foods have been stripped of the essential nutrients and antioxidants that are found in natural food sources and are required by our brain to function optimally. Our poor diet is combined with a lack of physical activity that promotes cognitive decline. There is solid evidence that exercise promotes the development of new brain cells and can prevent memory decline.
Natural Foods Promote Cognitive Agility
Foods in their natural form are packed with a wide array of nutrients which are vital to brain health. Fresh vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds infuse our body with vitamins and minerals that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier where they are used to fuel the countless chemical and electrical processes we know as thought and memory. A daily diet filled with lifeless refined foods is simply unable to provide the necessary building blocks to sustain cognitive function and eliminate plaque accumulation.
Improving Lifestyle to Prevent Dementia
Dementia is a disease that progresses over the course of a lifetime due to poor diet and lifestyle choices. When we`re young our body has an amazing capacity to protect us to ensure we are able to reproduce. Many of these defenses begin to decline after age 35 and we become much more vulnerable to heart disease, cancer and especially dementia. Fortunately we can improve our diet and limit exposure to environmental and household toxins that we breathe and ingest. Make a conscious effort to eliminate Teflon cookware, aluminum-based antiperspirants, mercury and fluoride from drinking water and toothpaste. Trace amounts of these pollutants enter your body every day and ultimately promote disease.
In addition to adopting a natural diet and engaging in regular exercise, it`s important to challenge your brain daily. Read a new book, surf the web or do a crossword puzzle to stimulate brain activity and neuron growth. You can control the risk factors that prevent cognitive decline and lead to vibrant health.
“Neurodegenerative basis of age-related cognitive decline,” Neurology. 2010 Sep 21;75(12):1070-8. Epub 2010 Sep 15.
“Mild Memory Loss Is Not a Part of Normal Aging,” Released: 9/15/2010, Source: Rush University Medical Center
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.
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