What happens to the Brain as we Age?
02-07-2019 | Posted By: Vivek Singh | 893 View(s)
Not all things get fine with age and leading them is the human body. Ageing is an inevitable and irreparable phenomenon. The body starts with muscular and nervous atrophy due to advancing age. Brain decreases in size and weight ultimately leading to diseases like Parkinson’s, etc.
The brain is one of the most important organs of the body and controls all other functions. With advancing age, the brain loses its control inviting a slew of neuromuscular degeneration. So what Does it mean? Lower control on muscles and movement, forgetfulness amongst many others. This is not just an issue for the patient but the families as well, the reason is a lack of understanding of the problem, and it’s demands
Many people do not get to know off the initial signs or just take it as an aftermath of stress.
On average, the brain degenerates at a rate of 1 per cent per year. But as the great scientist Darwin states that survival is of the fittest, similar is the case with the brain. The impact of age can be reduced by being active. The more you use it, the more it becomes ready to fight. For Darwin, the great scientist and Skinner the great psychologist proved this theory numerous times. Skinner himself wrote a book titled “Enjoy old age” whereby the need of brain exercises was stressed. Skinner believed that games like chess could combat the detrimental effects of advancing age. His idea of the exercises was to stay fit with the way you enjoy.
A study observed that a large number of aged in India suffer from depression due to being misunderstood.
We are born with the lifetime supply of neurons, and by the age of two, ¾ of your brain is in its functional capacity. Like your garden hedge, the brain requires pruning to make memory traces of important stuff like language which is strengthened through reinforcement or repetition. The twenties are the brain’s top-notch working years with the ability to judge and risk at the peak.
As we cross the twenties, the brain loses its capacity to rebuild neurons. If that is too much then the road ahead, the sixties bumps with brain shrinkage.
Sooner you cross your 80th birthday, the diseases like Alzheimer’s make the brain incapable of forming new memories. That is why the aged recall old memories better than new information. A friend’s grandfather who lived for 90 even forgot his grandchildren’s name and refused to accept the older versions as the same kids but was able to recall his college friends and their addresses clearly!
Some signs of changes in the brain with Age are:
● Sense of surroundings gets affected
● Attention gets affected.
● Memory loss
● Loss of vision
● Hearing issues
Steps to reduce the onslaught of Issues:
● Walk: As you age, increase the physical exercise especially walk. This walk for a few hours a day can go a long way in helping you through age and neuro-related issues.
● Take up a hobby: It is said that to counter the effects of ageing, it’s best to take up a new hobby. Be it painting, writing or any other similar activity. It is observed that social activities can help in staying fit. This can give you peace of mind as well
● Teach and read: As stated above, it’s good to teach youngsters the experiences you have gained over time. Hence being a mentor will not only help a young person but will give you the feeling of companionship and comradeship. If for some reasons teaching is not your cup of tea, then you may read that long list of notable authors whom you always wished to explore.
● Learn new skills: You are never too old to learn. It is said that even the great Queen Victoria learnt Hindi at the later stages of 60! The new tricks you learn will help you fight the age-related degeneration. So learn French, Spanish or photography or whatever. Learning skills is not easy yet give yourself time to stay fit.
● Garden or adopt a pet: It is important to stay fit and healthy. For this stay healthy from the mind. It’s often said that the great Sam ‘Bahadur’ Manekshaw stated that he was not 90 years old but young. This spirit can help you stay active and help mother nature. An elderly neighbour of ours took upon himself to gift a small park for the grandkids. Now the children play while he nurtures the garden.
● Solve crosswords, sudoku, jigsaw puzzle etc.: Keeping the brain from disuse, it good to challenge it daily. For this newspaper helps to exercise the brain with nerve whacking puzzles.
● Take antioxidants/ multivitamins/ multimineral supplements: As you age, the bodily needs get reduced while mineral demands increase. This requirement boosts the need for supplements like B12, C, antioxidants and minerals to help strengthen the body defences.
● Avoid alcohol and other intoxicants: As the age increases, the body should be purified of the alcoholic needs. The focus should instead be devoted to meditation or a healthy lifestyle. The inclusion of yoga helps overcome muscular and mental disorders.
● Undertake health check-up every 6 months: The health check-up focus should be fortified every 6 months. This will help nip the evil in the bud. It’s better being safe than sorry. Regular health care can help to stay for long. The longevity is also boosted. Dietary requirements should be consulted with a qualified nutritionist and fulfilled accordingly. The green leafy vegetables help giving body and brain strength. Avoid fatty and Street foods.
Staying fit at an advanced age is especially important. The advanced age is a stage of special requirements both physical and mental.So Take all possible Precautions as you age-Stay Healthy, Stay Protected.