Sunday, July 28, 2013

Introducing our NEW BRAIN HEALTH CORNER

 

Welcome to our new Brain Health Corner!
Dr. Lippa

Every month our expert – Carol Lippa, MD will address your questions!  She is the interim Chair and Professor of Neurology and is the Director of  the Memory Center at Drexel University College of Medicine.


5 TIPS FOR HEALTHY BRAIN AGING

Deterioration of the brain as we age is a true concern for many adults. Many of us have a friend or loved one who has faced Alzheimer’s disease and realize the devastating effects the disease can have on the person and family. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help decrease the risk factors involved in developing a memory disorder.  Here are 5 tips to keep your brain in tip-top shape as you age!

1. EXERCISE  In order for your body to feel and function at its best, you must exercise.
Physical activity not only keeps your body in shape, but also helps to maintain your brain health. Regular exercise decreases the risk of developing a memory disorder, especially vascular dementia.                                       

VASCULAR DEMENTIA is a very common type of dementia. Caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain which results in killing brain cells.  This cell death can occur in the centers of our brain responsible for things like memory, thinking, orientation, and learning.  Dedication to exercise will result in a stronger and healthier cardiovascular system and will make the heart, arteries, and blood vessels better at carrying nutrient rich blood to the brain. Here's a help guide for vascular dementia

GOAL: Aim for 30 min of moderate activity per day.  
Want some ideas for workouts and activities?
Visit the following link http://go4life.nia.nih.gov/





2. NUTRITION

Healthy eating as we age is very important for managing and preventing all different types of chronic diseases, not just memory disorders.  Healthy means eating a balanced diet - one high in vegetables, lean proteins, fruits, and healthy fats. Decrease saturated fats, limit sugars and salt, and drink water.  More tips here.  Want  information on portion control, required calories, food groups, diet plans, and guided label reading? Visit the following link here

3. BRAIN CALISTHENICS 

Your brain must be exercised in order for it to function optimally, just like the rest of the body.  Since your brain cannot pick up a weight or run on the treadmill, brain exercises are found in the form of memory tests, word puzzles, math problems, and board games (chess, checkers, Scrabble).  Click on the following link for free online brain exercise activities http://www.mindgames.com/

 

4. RECOGNIZE HEALTHY AGING VERSUS ONES TO WORRY ABOUT

Keep in mind that mild memory loss is normal as you age. The number of brain cells in our brain peaks during our mid-20s. From that point on, we are losing brain cells. 








 VERSUS

Misplacing your keys or accidentally calling an acquaintance the wrong name is typical, especially when we are distracted, stressed, multi-tasking and not fully focused on the present situation.  How to figure out if it is a problem is to first answer this question: Does the memory loss affect daily functioning (doing what you need to do, day-to-day)?  If you or your loved ones feel as though your memory loss is an issue, visit a neurologist for a memory work-up.  If you want info about Dr. Carol Lippa and the Memory Disorders Program at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, visit HERE.  Think YOU need a memory evaluation? Call 215-762-6915.

5. KEEP THE MIND BUSY! Use it or lose it!

It is important to keep the brain active and stimulated throughout the day.

 *Take up a new hobby, such as learning how to play an instrument.

  *Visit a department store, look at the percent off tags, and calculate the new prices.

  *Get involved with a volunteer organization or become active in your church. 

  *Schedule weekly outings with friends and family. 

These are just a few activities that not only keep the brain stimulated, but also decrease stress and help to maintain a sense of importance and purpose in life.

*WHAT DO YOU TO HELP DEAL WITH STRESS?









** HAVE A QUESTION OR A TOPIC SUGGESTION?   Send your questions and ideas about brain health and memory disorders to Kate Bowen, our Ujima Neurology blogger at kbowen@DrexelMed.edu . She and Dr. Lippa work together to spread awareness and answer your questions about brain health and memory disorders. 

HAVE A GREAT MONTH!

Post by Kate Bowen; Layout & Editing AEN










 


 





 









 



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