Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Aging Brain-More Shrewd

I came across this article about the aging brain. We did an earlier blog on training the brain. I thought this might be just as interesting. They give us the bad news in the article first: “Reaction time is slower,” for middle aged people. They go on to say: “We’re quick, but we’re sloppy when we’re in middle-age. We make more errors when we’re in middle-age,” It makes coming up with the word that is on the tip of our tongue harder to say. Sometimes for me when I see someone I have not seen in a while it may take a minute to remember their name.
Here is a graphic about the aging brain that might be of interest. There is not all bad news about the brain aging though: “..Points to a continues improvement in complex reasoning skills as we enter middle age…this increase may be due to a process in the brain called “myelination” Myelin is the insulation wrapped around brain cells that increases their conductivity- the speed with which information travels from brain cell to brain cell. And the myelination doesn’t reach its peak until middle age.” We can then know when problems might come up and reason them out.
Here is the part about brain cells dying off: “is that once a brain cell dies off you can’t replace it. But many studies have now shown … that there is, in fact, brain cell growth throughout life.” You may continue learning and changing your brain like in the computerized brain games. There is also another part that helps in changing your brain and that is exercise. They gave treadmill training to “aging couch potatoes,” this is what they found: “Those who’d trained had larger hippocampi, the brain area key for memory. Other brain regions too – central for decision-making, planning and multi-tasking- were also larger in the treadmill exercisers.” More reason to make sure you work out.
The two scientists that did this research also exercise four or five days a week and do crossword and numbers puzzle every day. “… not only talk the talk, they also, quite literally walk the walk.” It would not be right if they just said do it and did not also work out and try and change their brain. The treadmill is good to work out on it helps with your body and brain.

1 comment:

  1. Neuroplasticity! I am a firm believer in it. I really need to start soduku-ing