Taking care of your brain, especially as you get older, should be at the top of your health priority list. An important part of making sure your brain is healthy is recognizing common brain aging signs. Understanding these signs will help you look out for warning signs that things may not be going as planned up there. Here are some common brain aging signs, things to look out for, and things you can do to reverse the negative side effects of brain aging.
How Do You Know If Your Brain Is Unhealthy?
The importance of your brain health can not be overstated. It’s important to do all you can to ensure your brain is as healthy as possible, especially as you get older in age. Part of keeping your brain healthy is looking out for any potential warning signs. Recognizing symptoms of a brain disease, brain injury, or mental disorder can help you get the help you need as quickly as possible. Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Nausea - Symptom of brain diseases, brain tumors, and brain injuries
- Memory loss - Symptom of brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases
- Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs - Symptom of brain tumors
- Depression - Symptom of mental disorders
- Bleeding from the ear - Symptom of brain injury (if you are experiencing this symptom it’s highly recommended that you seek help immediately)
- Anxiety - Symptom of neurodegenerative diseases as well as mental disorders
Keep in mind, these symptoms are also common in other diseases. Just because you’re experiencing one does not mean that you are suffering from a brain injury. It’s best to consult with your doctor so you can get a better understanding of what’s going on.
Does Your Brain Change With Age?
We all know the physical changes that come with aging such as wrinkles, loose skin, smile lines, and eye bags. However, our brains change with age as well and the rate at which they change can depend on several different factors. As we get older our brains shrink in volume, particularly in the frontal cortex. (1)
Aging also presents a heightened risk of neurological diseases, strokes, and ischemia. This is because as our vasculature ages our blood pressure begins to rise, which leads to the development of lesions on our white matter. Memory decline also occurs with aging and brain activation becomes more bilateral for memory tasks.
What Age Does The Brain Stop Developing?
There was once a point in history where scientists and researchers believed that the brain was fully mature around birth. This has since been disproven, as it is now believed that the brain does not fully mature until about age 24. One of the last areas to mature is the prefrontal cortex, which controls risk-taking behavior and judgment.
Brain deterioration age begins around age 30, but there are several factors that can play a part in this estimate range. Heavy alcohol consumption, for example, can greatly speed up the rate at which our brains deteriorate. Heavy alcohol consumption at a young age, before the brain is fully developed, can also play a huge role in preventing the brain from developing fully.
What Is Normal Brain Aging?
Believe it or not, there once was a time when researchers and scientists believed that pronounced declines in memory and cognitive abilities were just natural consequences of aging. Today, we know that these are symptoms of diseases such as dementia, which is a severe and progressive decline in memory, communication, and cognitive function (2). It’s important to know the difference between normal vs abnormal aging.
What you should expect is for your brain to shrink as it grows older, losing some neurons in the process. It’s important to note that the loss of neurons isn’t as dramatic or widespread as scientists once believed. With healthy lifestyle choices, you can ensure that your brain stays healthy throughout your life, even as you get older.
Can You Reverse Brain Aging?
There are no definitive studies that allow us to proclaim that it is absolutely possible to reverse the negative effects of brain aging. However, early research has shown that regular aerobic exercise in combination with a heart-healthy diet appears to reverse some effects of brain aging (3). Unfortunately, many people are unaware of how important heart health is in relation to healthy brain aging. Here are some things you can do to help keep both your heart and your brain healthy as you get older:
- Maintain favorable blood pressure
- Take healthy brain supplements
- Try to limit your consumption of red meat
- Create a diet around whole plant foods
- Eat brain-healthy foods such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts
- Try to avoid salt as much as possible
- Stay active
- Avoid added sugars
While we may enjoy junk food, too much junk food can greatly reduce our heart and brain health. You don’t need to give up on processed foods completely, but you should try to limit them as much as possible. Try to only consume these foods once a week or even once a month.
What Causes Memory Loss and Forgetfulness?
As we mentioned earlier, researchers and scientists no longer believe that memory loss and forgetfulness is a regular part of aging. There are several different things that can lead to memory loss, some factors are hereditary while most are lifestyle-related. Here are some of the things that can cause memory loss and forgetfulness:
- Medications - There are several different of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can interfere with our brain’s ability to process memories
- Alcohol - One or two drinks a day can help improve heart health but excessive alcohol use has long been associated with memory loss
- Smoking - Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. Those who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with names than do nonsmokers
- Sleep deprivation - Sleep is incredibly important, as the brain uses that time to file away memories. Getting too little sleep can lead to fatigue, which interferes with the ability to consolidate and retrieve information
- Depression and stress - Depression makes it difficult to pay attention and focus, which affects memory. Stress can overstimulate the brain, which can cause a loss in memory
- Strokes - Strokes often cause short-term memory loss. Those who have suffered from a stroke may have vivid memories of childhood events but are unable to recall what they had for breakfast
As you can see, many of these factors are lifestyle driven. One cigarette, one crazy night out, or one restless night isn’t the end of the world but if these things regularly happen it can greatly affect your ability to remember things.
Supplements That Can Help
A long-debated topic, there are many resources available to you to describe what kinds of diets may lead to increased brain function and reduce cognitive decline. Typically it will focus on eating the right foods and avoiding the bad ones. We believe that your diet is one of the most critical aspects of overall health and wellbeing, but that instead of focusing on specific diet plans, we focus on core additive ingredients that aren’t readily available through a normal diet. Spermidine is one of these ingredients.
While found in many foods, spermidine is rarely eaten in a significant enough quantity to reap the true benefits. That’s why we made spermidineLIFE®, a dietary supplement that consistently and precisely integrates spermidine into your daily diet. Spermidine is a naturally occurring polyamine that helps promote our body’s natural cell renewal process known as autophagy. Autophagy helps your cells recycle old and dysfunctional organelles, replacing them with newer, healthier ones. Our spermidineLIFE® wheat-germ extract is thoroughly lab tested and verified for high and accurate spermidine content levels to make sure you enjoy the benefits of spermidine for life.
- National Institutes of Health, Exercise in combination with DASH diet might help reverse brain aging, study suggests
- National Center for Biotechnology Information, Ageing and the Brain
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