Since 2006 after attending a counter-terrorism training mission in Isreal I became facinated by and developed an insatiable appetite to learn the new developemnts in brain science. In my creation of courses for law enforcment to help increase their observation skills I realized that everything I desired to improve required challenging the brains of police officers. I coinded the phrase "Rebooting the brain through mental athletics."
As a psychology major in college I studied the thinking at the time which believed that the brain reached a growth capacity after adolescence and began to deteriorate into old age. New developments in Neuro Science have proved something quite different. In a seminal study of terminally ill patients it was discovered during autopsies that human beings continue to develop new neuron and neural connections until the day they die.
This exciting discovery changes everything for seniors who are being afflicted with memory loss such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current thinking argues that the brain must continue to be exercised by learning new things otherwise it, much like muscle will atrophy.
Today there are over 6 million people in the United States that suffer from memory loss. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are increasing with our senior population and will continue to do so with the baby-boom increasing the number of seniors in our population.
Researchers are continuing to look for cures for these diseases but current thinking is beginning to believe that our lifestyles are a main contributor to memory loss.
Although brain scans have proven changes in the brain are occurring with these diseases and there are genetic elements attributed prevention may lie in changing from an active to more sedintary life style, poor nutrition and getting 8 hours of sleep, as well as, lack of mental exercise.
When I perform at Memory Care facilities I find the majority of people suffering from memory loss have come from very successful careers. Many are doctors, lawyers, business executives, teachers, and other professions that required rigerous brain challenges to be successful.
Once these people retire they often go from an extreme of high stress to doing next to nothing. It is critical that we keep our brains active or like muscle they will atrophy. It is important to challenge the brain with new things such as, art, music, sports, language, or specific brain exercises. Posit Science (www.brainhq.com) has a terrific on-line program of such exercises. I personally use it and have found it to be challanging as it adjusts from a very easy level to more difficult as you continue through the program.
We all must take the challange to keep our brain active. The results of not doing so are not only devastating to you, but to your entire family. The costs of have to be placed in a memory loss facility are stagering. Many of these facilities are upwards of $10,000 per month. That is a six figure annual salary to place a person in a facility where they can live for years. Hopefully, research science will find a cure for these diseases but for now it is up to each of us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise our brains.
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