Elderly man doing crossword puzzle

Better Your Brain Age

Have you ever heard the phrase, “having a senior moment?” Have you decided not being as sharp as you once were is natural, and that this is something that happens to everyone? This doesn’t have to be the case. Recent neurologic studies shows that the brain retains the ability to grow and develop, regardless of age. This flies in the face of what many of us think. A loss of memory is not a necessary consequence of aging. Many dietary factors affect our brain and how sharp we feel. Caffeine, sugar and fats all play a role, and some of them are actually positive. A healthy brain means a healthy you. It is the conductor of the body, but also the conductor of our thoughts and inspiration. Learn how to exercise your mind for a younger, healthier you.
There are several ways to exercise the mind to keep it sharp as you age. Here are some strategies you might try:

  1. Keep learning: A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age. Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them 1.
  2. Use all your senses: The more senses you use in learning something, the more of your brain that will be involved in retaining the memory 1.
  3. Believe in yourself: Myths about aging can contribute to a failing memory. Middle-aged and older learners do worse on memory tasks when they’re exposed to negative stereotypes about aging and memory, and better when the messages are positive about memory preservation into old age 1.
  4. Stimulate your brain: Mental stimulation is important for brain health. Continuing to learn new skills, working crossword puzzles or math games and increasing social interaction are great ways to keep your mind active 2.
  5. Physical exercise: Regular exercise improves your memory and cognitive skills 3.

Here are some good mental exercises for seniors:

  1. Puzzles: Puzzles are among the most popular of elderly mental exercises. Science has found that solving puzzles can be advantageous for both mental health and relaxation 1.
  2. Crafts: Creating things with your own hands is not only fun but can actually be good for your brain 1.
  3. Music: Music is a powerful medium that stimulates emotions, improves our attention, and boosts memory and alertness 1.
  4. Gardening: Gardening can be a great way to keep your mind active and engaged 1.
  5. Writing: Writing can be a great way to exercise your mind and improve cognitive function 1.

Brain mapping is a technique used to identify specific areas of the brain that are associated with certain functions. Biofeedback is a technique that uses real-time feedback to help individuals learn to control their physiological responses.

Recently, non-invasive neurofeedback training has been explored as a potential complementary treatment for patients suffering from dementia or mild cognitive impairment. Neurofeedback training protocols based on electroencephalography or functional magnetic resonance imaging have been used for these groups of patients 1.

In most studies, patients showed improved scores in different cognitive tests after neurofeedback training.

Neurofeedback is a method of training the brain to regulate its own electrical activity by using feedback from a computing device. The device measures brainwave frequencies through sensors on the scalp and provides cues to the brain through sound, lights, games, or vibrations. The cues help the brain learn to shift from unhealthy or maladaptive patterns to healthier or adaptive ones 1.

Neurofeedback is not considered a cure, but rather a method of managing or regulating the workings of the brain so it functions in a healthier manner. This is achieved by repeated training sessions using a computerized neurofeedback program that teaches the central nervous system to reorganize and regulate brainwave frequencies 1. Neurofeedback can help treat many different conditions, including ADHD, seizure conditions, brain injury, insomnia and sleep problems, anxiety, depression, PTSD, age-related cognitive loss, behavior disorders and developmental delays 1.

Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta offers brain mapping and neurofeedback training. Call for an appointment today!