Friday, December 15, 2006

Cognitive vitality in later life starts in youth

[12 December 2006 - Reuters Health] Just as building bone mass early in life protects against fractures, building your brain early in life may also protect against cognitive decline, according to Dr. Stephanie Studenski, a member of the American Geriatrics Society who helped organize a recent conference on "cognitive vitality." "We all know that having a healthy brain in late life can be achieved in several ways, some of which have to do with exercising your mind and body throughout life and leading a healthy lifestyle," Studenski of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine told Reuters Health. "But another important idea is that the brain builds capacity early in life and everybody has extra capacity or reserves," she explained. Building that reserve earlier in life helps protect against losing cognitive abilities to the point where they become a problem. She offers these other tips for keeping the aging mind sharp:
- See your doctor regularly and follow their advice.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eliminate stress.
- Think, think, think. The more you use your brain, the better it'll work.
- Socialize.
- Eat right.


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