Sleep? Diet? Stress? Exercise? Aging? Well… all of it. But issues with any of these elements of our health cause a drop in our overall brain health, at which point our memory is impacted.
Understanding The Brain
The brain is arguably the most important organ in the body, responsible for thought, memory, emotion, motor skills, breath, temperature, touch, hunger, and every other process that regulates the body.
It’s paramount that the brain keeps itself healthy in order for the rest of the body to stand a chance at long-lasting health. In order to keep the brain happy and healthy, we need to keep it hard at work!
Neurodegeneration and Memory
Typically, when neurons die, they are permanently dead. This is a totally normal process that happens all the time in the brain. You’ll have lost a few neurons by the time you finish reading this article. Slowing down this process, however, is achievable through diet and lifestyle.
Your brain needs 3 essential things to function properly and thrive:
- Oxygen: Brain function diminishes when we don’t receive adequate levels of oxygen. But how can we tell if we have adequate oxygen circulation? This depends on the health of our blood vessels, and can be monitored through a variety of ways including sleep studies and pulse oximeter use.
- Glucose: How the brain utilizes glucose will actually impact its chemical messenger synthesis as well as energy production. If glucose and insulin are optimal, this can positively impact the communication between the brain cells (neurons) and those neurotransmitters.
- Stimulation: We’re good at the things that we do often, and if we regularly engage our memory function with brain stimulation, we’re more likely to preserve our brain function. This is where the old adage “If you don’t use it, you lose it” comes into play!
We can stimulate the brain by participating in activities that challenge memory, such as exercise, music, art, math, reading, learning, drawing, etc…
Likewise, speeding up neurodegeneration is also possible through diet and lifestyle…
Trying To Avoid Neurodegeneration? Look Out For...
- Inflammation, which can be a contributor for neurodegeneration
- Insulin Resistance (often refered to in the industry as Type 3 Diabetes)
- Nutrient Deficiencies, with certain vitamins being essential for brain health
- Hormonal Imbalances, including our hunger hormones, sex hormones, and more…
- Genetics, however it’s worth remembering that our genetics may load the watergun, but it’s our lifestyle that pulls the trigger!
What We Thought We Know Has Changed...
Our understanding of memory and cognitive function has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. Previously, doctors and experts in the health and wellness field were certain that cognitive decline was irreversible, especially in severe cases like alzheimers, a neurodegenerative disease that has no proven curative treatment.
In recent years, we’ve discovered that not only is it possible to slow the development of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimers, it’s actually possible to reverse Alzheimers.
Heard of ReCODE?
ReCODE is a protocol that people at early-to-mid-stages of Alzheimers can undergo to improve cognition. After clinical trials, the ReCODE protocol, designed to reverse cognitive decline, has been validated. We now have undisputable evidence that we can take steps to slow and stop cognitive degeneration.
The ReCODE program was designed for anyone experiencing subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and for those with Alzheimer’s.
Be sure to check out our article all about the ReCODE and PreCODE method if you’d like to learn more about this groundbreaking research and program that we use with our patients here at Index Health.
Want To Try a Memory Hack? Go To Sleep!
According to neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker, athletes are missing a trick when it comes to performance enhancement…
No drugs required! Sleeping 7-9 hours per night is the most underused performance enhancement available to competitive athletes, and to all of us!
While we sleep, our brain goes through memory processing. It reflects on everything it observes throughout the day, choosing the pieces of information to keep, and what to delete from the hard drive.
You saw a lady walk past you wearing a blue dress? Deleted.
You saw a lady walk past you wearing a blue dress who looked identical to you, and you discover that you were both adopted and are identical twins… saved!
The brain knows what is important to remember, and what can be forgotten.
Musicians will be familiar with the frustrating feeling of getting stuck at one part of the song they’re practicing. The next day, the same tricky piece of music comes out effortlessly. The only thing that changed since the day before is that their brains had the chance to process the memory, replaying it over and over in the mind, essentially rehearsing the piece while asleep!
Drugs, Substances, Alcohol, and Memory
If you’re an alcohol drinker, you may have experienced a blackout in your life. This is when we cannot remember a portion of the night before. Our sleep quality is impacted when we take drugs, alcohol, or other substances, meaning the brain doesn’t get the same opportunity to process memory as if we were sober.
Aging and Memory: It’s In Our Control
While we can’t avoid aging, we can age gracefully by taking care of our brain function, which we can do by improving oxygen flow to the brain, improving blood sugar management, decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, and balancing neurotransmitters.
If your cognitive brain function is declining, get in touch with one of our ReCODE 2.0 certified physicians who can evaluate your cognitive function and help you through recovery.