The brain weighs about 3 pounds and decreases with aging – unless we prevent this. There are over 100 billion cells in the brain that with optimal nutrition, less inflammation will regenerate and gift us a flawless memory as we age.
The main two things that have contributed to age-related cognitive decline are inflammation and nutrient depletion especially to a region called the hippocampus. Our brain is considered our most vital organ as it sends messages to all parts of the body, communicating how to function. A common structural change in the brain, picked up on imaging studies, is the grooves (sulci) of the brain surface widens and the swellings (gyri) get smaller. This lack of surface area will diminish neurotransmission which affects our memory. The main causes associated with these changes are inflammation and nutrient deficiencies which is demonstrated in studies published in the Journal of Neurophysiology.
A key researcher in the aging brain, Caleb Finch Ph.D, discovered amyloid aggregates which are a hard deposits that result from tissue degeneration, which forms in the presence of inflammatory proteins in the brain. In his studies, it appears that all maturing adults appear to have the inflammatory protein precursors to the amyloid formation. When the hippocampus, which is the area responsible for forming memory, is interrupted by these proteins, memory declines.
Although there is conflicting information in the literature about the potential benefit of taking estrogen to assist memory (both short term and long term) as well as reducing the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease in post-menopausal women, I personally have noticed a day-to-day change if I forget to take my BHRT estrogen and have repeatedly heard the same experiences from many women that I treat with BHRT. A Medline search reveals more support in favor of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to assist in memory enhancement with age.
Lifestyle factors that may affect brain aging with 10 simple solutions to creating the most magnificent memory:
* Stress - The stress/anti-stress hormone cortisol, improves memory in low doses and destroys neurons in large amounts.