In the central nervous system, the brain’s primary function is to make sure that the neuron signals it’s producing are being transmitted all throughout the body. These neuron signals help with motor function, digestion function, and immune function by making sure that the entire systems inside the body are working properly. When there are neurodegenerative factors that enter the body and attach to the neuron signals, they can be disruptive and cause the brain to develop chronic issues that can make the body be dysfunctional. This is known as cognitive decline and it can range from being mild to severe over time. In this article, we will be taking a look at what is cognitive decline, its symptoms, and ways to reverse cognitive decline from progressing further in the brain. By referring patients to qualified and skilled providers who specialized in neurological services. To that end, and when appropriate, we advise our patients to refer to our associated medical providers based on their examination. We find that education is the key to asking valuable questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
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What Is Cognitive Decline?
In a normal functioning brain, it does naturally decline with age while still retaining all of its functions that make the body move, see, digest, and remember events that it went through. However, when there are disruptors that attach themselves to the neuron signals and travel through the brain, it can cause a person to momentarily forget or not retain new information. This is known as cognitive decline and research studies have found that cognitive decline can make a person frequently forget important information or conversations. This will also lead to symptoms of dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease if the cognitive decline continues to progress over time.
Research shows that the many symptoms and risk factors of cognitive decline if it is not treated, can further progress cognitive degeneration until it turns chronic. As stated, the brain ages naturally causing shrinkage while maintaining information, but for a mild cognitive impairment, the brain will shrink as well but will not retain the information. Some of the symptoms and risk factors that cognitive decline cause to the brain are:
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Lose train of thought
- Forget things more often
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Ways To Reverse Cognitive Decline
Since cognitive decline has become a major concern for older adults and the aging population, studies have found that cognitive decline was driven by a large part of metabolic processes that individuals were facing. By finding therapeutic ways to reverse cognitive decline from progressing further can benefit many individuals to improve their brain function and live longer as they get older. Some of the beneficial ways to reverse cognitive decline include:
- Eating nutritional food
- Getting an adequate amount of sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Find a new hobby
Research studies have found that when older adults don’t have enough social engagement, it can cause them to feel lonely and their cognitive function begins to decline. By going out and being social, many individuals will have their cognitive health be protected from pre-dementia symptoms and create new memories. Other studies have shown that older adults who are more socially engaged tend to have a high cognitive function than older adults who don’t socially engage with other people. Meeting new people and having a conversation with them is a great way to reverse cognitive decline.
Eating Nutritious Food
Incorporating nutritional brain food can help boost the brain’s neuron signals and even dampen the effects of cognitive decline as well as many other symptoms that may cause the body harm. Research studies have shown that low glycemic index foods can help improve the attention, memory, and functional capacity of the brain. By incorporating nutritional foods that can give the brain boosted energy, many individuals can begin to eat healthier and dampen unwanted pathogens that they didn’t know that they had. Other studies have found that the Mediterranean diet can correlate with improving cognitive function. The Mediterranean diet has many beneficial properties as it is consist of whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, and olive oil and can even help lower inflammatory responses that are affecting the joints, the gut, and the brain as well.
Mental & Physical Exercise
Studies have found that any type of exercise whether it is physical or mental can help exert effects on cognitive function by affecting the molecular events in the brain’s management of energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity. By exercising the body, the brain will start to remember how each rep works and the motor function will start to remember the repetitive motions that a person is doing as they are working out. Now by mentally working out the brain is another way to reverse the effects of cognitive decline provides the same results. Research has found that by intellectually engaging the brain can help reduce oxidative stress and help improve memory for older adults. This can be numerous of activities like, reading a new book, learning a new skill, taking a class, dancing, or learning to play music can help improve the quality of life for many individuals.
All in all, by finding ways to reverse the effects of cognitive decline from the brain can help many individuals. Whether it is eating the right food, exercising both mentally and physically, being engaging in a social gathering can help improve brain function and a person’s quality of life. Since the brain is part of the central nervous system, many individuals can make these small changes in their lifestyle and begin to see a change in themselves in a more positive way.
Bredesen, Dale E. “Reversal of Cognitive Decline: A Novel Therapeutic Program.” Aging, Impact Journals LLC, Sept. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4221920/.
Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando, and Charles Hillman. “The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities.” Comprehensive Physiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951958/.
Krueger, Kristin R, et al. “Social Engagement and Cognitive Function in Old Age.” Experimental Aging Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2758920/.
Martínez García, Rosa María, et al. “[Nutrition Strategies That Improve Cognitive Function].” Nutricion Hospitalaria, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Sept. 2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30351155/.
Medical Professionals, Cleveland Clinic. “Mild Cognitive Impairment: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments & Tests.” Cleveland Clinic, 18 Mar. 2019, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17990-mild-cognitive-impairment.
Medical Professionals, NIA. “Cognitive Health and Older Adults.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Oct. 2020, www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults.
Medical Professionals, NIH. “Diet May Help Preserve Cognitive Function.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 14 Apr. 2020, www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/diet-may-help-preserve-cognitive-function.
National Research Council (US) Committee on Aging Frontiers in SocialPsychology, et al. “Social Engagement and Cognition.” When I’m 64., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83766/.
Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2 Sept. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mild-cognitive-impairment/symptoms-causes/syc-20354578.
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