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Supporting Healthy Cognitive Brain Function

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Supporting Healthy Cognitive Brain Function

Strengthening & Preserving Cognitive Brain Function

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, accounting for roughly 60 to 80% of dementia cases. AD is a degenerative brain condition that predominantly affects a person’s cognitive brain function—which is used for memory and communication. Unfortunately, this condition continues to worsen over time until the person is no longer able to take care of themselves or even respond to environmental stimuli.

While there is no cure for AD or a surefire way to prevent it from happening, there are certainly ways that you can strengthen your cognitive function and delay AD from coming on or progressing. In light of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, the health experts at ATRIO are here to share tips to support healthy brain function for years to come.

Try Activities that stimulate Your Brain

While younger adults spend a lot of their time working or tending to their families, older adults have a lot more free time following retirement. While it is expected that elderly adults take this time to relax and enjoy their golden years, spending too much time with your brain being unengaged can cause your critical thinking and problem-solving skills to decline rapidly.

Finding hobbies and engaging in activities can help to combat this. Research has shown that engaging in activities that require complex thought and reasoning can help to stimulate the connections between your brain cells.

Some great activities to try include:

  • Reading
  • Puzzles
  • Board games
  • Playing an instrument
  • Math and number problems
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Dancing

Get Better Quality Rest

While many of us are familiar with the brain fog that follows a bad night’s rest, getting enough sleep can be more beneficial than you think! In fact, getting the recommended 7-8 hours of rest each night can help to improve your memory.

Consistently getting good quality sleep helps your brain to:

  • Process new information.
  • Consolidate new information into memories.
  • Recall this information later on.

Look After Your Emotional Health

Just like memory loss isn't a normal part of getting older, neither is experiencing mental health issues. Although more extensive research needs to be done on the relationship between mental health and increased risk for dementia, research has shown that those affected by anxiety and depression score poorly on cognitive function tests.

Some tips to help older adults take care of their emotional wellbeing include:

  • Spending time with loved ones.
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Set healthy boundaries.
  • Try journaling.
  • Try mindfulness meditation.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Seek professional help when you need it.

If you have additional questions or concerns when it comes to your cognitive brain function, be sure to speak with your primary care physician.