Aging and Preserving Brain Health

Ageing well and protecting brain health require maintaining cognitive abilities such as thought processing, sensory motor control, memory recall and emotional connection – all which contribute to our quality of life. Unfortunately, losing these functions due to normal aging or brain disease may occur over time – but there are ways proven effective at helping prevent or postpone dementia symptoms and delay its onset.

Cognitive reserve is central to understanding brain aging; this variable ability of human brains to withstand or compensate for structural or functional deficits caused by neuropathology. Similar concepts that underlie tissue aging like cell degeneration and dysfunctional apoptosis appear to impact brain aging similarly.

Studies suggest that the brain can compensate for cognitive impairment in certain people by recruiting other parts to perform tasks and increasing efficiency with which they work. For instance, older people can improve their problem-solving abilities by including new activities into their daily routines; exercise also strengthens connections between brain cells and stimulates new neuron growth – key elements that allow the brain to adapt when functional decline occurs.

Protecting the brain requires avoiding frequent exposure to risk factors that overcome its compensatory mechanisms, leading to allostatic load and irreversible dysfunction. This requires taking an intentional, lifelong approach with an emphasis on preventing these factors from developing further while mitigating their adverse impacts.