SALEM, Oregon, July 10, 2013 — Memory loss is a common complaint. Most of the time there is no disease but a problem with activation of the brain and nervous system. The brain is like a muscle. It needs to be activated.
Up to a point, the more the brain is activated, the more neural networks are formed and the brain engages itself. Connections are made, memory patterns are established, and the brain can mold into new processing.
Plasticity. This is a moldable, bendable ability the brain has to take new information and work it into new networks. Like a living sponge.
But how many people do you know that as they age, they are not as active or they begin to disconnect from things in life? As some people get older they exercise their mind and bodies less and the challenge of learning something new becomes more difficult and even frustrating for them. Because they don’t necessarily have to do these things their inclination is to give up projects and activities instead of digging deeper and applying themselves. Atrophy, deterioration, and decreased capacity result.
There is no better factor that predicts Alzheimer’s disease then how active a person can be throughout their life.
On top of that, is the brief exposures to stress. New and challenging kinds of stress followed by the appropriate time for recovery from it. This leads to a new and higher level of brain functioning. A new level of plasticity in the brain. Short term stress is excitatory and stimulating to brain function; it is good. Chronic, prolonged stress actually decreases brain function and produces stress hormones which cause atrophy of brain tissue.
Every time you learn something new you are building new connections between brain cells. You are forming tighter and stronger neural networks. Learning new skills, learning language, reading, and writing are all activities that enhance brain function. In addition to this, allowing the brain to rest and repair gives it time to consolidate and re-encode this new information. Rest is important for brain function.
Another very powerful brain activation is using the body to provide input for brain function. Physical exercise has profound effect of activating brain cells. Dancing, walking, playing sports, are all very powerful brain stimulators and help to form stronger nerve connections.
If your muscles are not engaged or activated they begin to atrophy. They get flabby from nonuse. When the brain is not engaged in stimulating and new activities it begins to atrophy as well.
The more networks you can form your brain earlier in your life, the better off you will be and the chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease decrease. Pushing the brain by learning and engaging in activities will push it to develop the mental muscles it needs to stay stronger rather than weaker and to build higher levels of memory.
Dr Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of 3 books on health, one novel, and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional, and emotional stress.
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