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Experts Offer Ways to Keep Your Memory Healthy

- Friday, August 19, 2011

Dr. Potter, chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center says:

Stay mentally active. What actually happens is that as we get older, synapses in the brain are stimulated by mental activity, so this helps to preserve mental ability. Just being well-educated is a good idea. Education and mental stimulation helps to create and preserve and develop new connections. So taking a course later in life is a good idea.

Following a good heart-healthy diet is good for memory because what's good for your heart is good for your brain. And you can actually stimulate develop of new brain cells with physical activity.

Dr. Mastrianni, Associate Professor of Neurology; Co-Director, Center for Comprehensive Care and Research on Memory Disorders at the University of Chicago Medical Center says:

There things one can do to avoid developing Alzheimer's disease or memory decline associated with aging.  Lifestyle changes that have shown benefit include routine physical exercise, staying socially active and eating a heart-healthy diet. At least 30 minutes a day of physical activity gets your heart pumping and improves oxygenation of brain cells.

Social activity may include staying actively working, or volunteering in local organizations or clubs.  Research suggests that having a large network of social interactions helps to maintain good brain function and even delay Alzheimer's disease.

Finally, eliminating unhealthy practices such as cigarettes, too little sleep, and too much stress can't hurt and are likely to help your brain function better.

Dr. Shulman, assistant professor of neurology and associate director of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at the Pearl Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment at the Silberstein Alzheimer's Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center says:

There are four main pillars of keeping healthy memory or maintaining brain fitness: healthy diet, exercise, keeping mentally stimulated and avoiding depression. There is no single entity that we can modify that will decrease the likelihood of someone developing Alzheimer's. It's a combination of applying all of these.

The issue with avoiding depression is a controversial one: Is depression itself a risk factor for dementia, or is the early sign of depression the earliest sign of dementia itself? It looks increasingly like it's a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, and there's a whole host of complicated reasons, but it does seem that if you keep stress-free and depression-free, that in and of itself is insurance for healthy aging.

Original article My Health News Daily