“Senior moments” may begin earlier than previously thought. A new study suggests that mental decline can happen as early as 45 years old.
With this knowledge, it’s important to focus on ways of postponing, preventing and/or reducing mental decline. Experts weigh in with their advice.
Dr. Larry McCleary, the author of “Feed Your Brain Lose Your Belly” and retired Acting Chief of Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital, has four tips for avoiding mental decline.
1) “Exercise daily. This increases blood flow to the brain and enhances its ability to form new connections. Study after study has shown a positive correlation between exercise and brain health.”
2) “Eat cold water fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, tuna). Fish is brain food. The omega 3s in it make our brains work better.”
3) “Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep makes your brain less efficient (like it is after a few drinks).”
4) “Control your weight. Obesity leads to diabetes, which dramatically increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetics are at quadruple the risk of getting Alzheimer’s; pre-diabetics are at triple the risk; and pre-pre diabetics at double the risk.”
Teresa Aubele, a postdoctoral researcher at Florida State University and a contributing blogger on Psychology Today’s website, has advice for postponing and reducing mental decline.
1) “Stay Socially Active - being socially isolated is an independent risk factor for mental decline.”
2) “Keep Learning - many studies have shown that learning a new language or learning how to play an instrument, in particular, seem to keep brains sharp. A study published in the journal Neurology surveyed 211 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and found that those who spoke only one language saw the onset of their first symptoms four to five years earlier than their bilingual peers.”