How Neuroplasticity Increases Your Ability To Age Well
Aging can be tough especially when your neurological health is at risk but thankfully knowing how to exercise your brain can make you age better for your future
Alzheimer’s disease is dominating old age but even during its progression, your brain can grow.
It’s a degenerative brain disorder that slowly destroys the memories of aging brains. Usually, the symptoms begin to first appear in people’s mid-60s, and the disease slowly incapacitates their cognitive skills until confusion and frustration take over their thought process.
But it’s not only Alzheimer’s disease that decreases the brain’s ability to function normally.
It’s also the general process of aging.
And we all age. So on the face of it surely our brains’ abilities are going to die as we age?
The truth is that some do and some don’t.
There’s no doubt that some people contract diseases and conditions as they age and this affects their neurological functionality. Even Alzheimer’s is proof of this because it’s irreversible. But many people age and don’t have neurological issues that lead to conditions or diseases.
Sure some of them have better genes than others but many are nourishing and correctly working their brains so that they stave off these neurological problems as they age too.
Throughout the normal aging of our brains, cognitive decline does occur. The prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus all suffer a decline. Your prefrontal cortex controls your ability to plan for future events, exercise self-control, make decisions that the best for you, and construct and manage the goals that you have in life. It also organizes your thoughts.
The hippocampus is part of the limbic system which is associated with the reactions and the feelings that you have.
Situated close to the hypothalamus and the amygdala which deals with fear and emotions, the hypothalamus concentrates on your memories. These memories are related to events and facts that are learned. But it contains spatial memories too. Being able to understand where you are going in your car from memory comes from this part of the brain too.
Interestingly enough, the hippocampus is one of the places of the brain where new nerve cells can be generated.
Using Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), or sat navs are very helpful for many people. Cab drivers and delivery people find efficiency in using the computer’s ability to locate specific addresses within moments.
Speed of work is increased but the ability to think rapidly and accurately is decreased over time.
With these types of aids, our brain is incapable of working in the way they’re designed to be used yet many people use them around the world every day. Of course, specific addresses can be difficult to find if they are improperly planned by engineers and planning authorities but using your brain to find them will give it a great exercise in getting there.
You may be late in delivering your package but you’ll delay the onset of a possible neurological disorder also.
That’s why you need to do everything you can to help your brain as it ages. Because even though something as debilitating as Alzheimer’s disease may occur you can still grow new neurons to counteract some of the issues that it causes.
That’s the basic idea behind neuroplasticity.
It teaches us that the brain is plastic in its ability to be molded for reorganization and growth. Recognizing that existing neurons can be damaged beyond repair, its theory states that new neuronal pathways can be grown with a more positive ability than the existing ones at work in your brain.
And even when someone has a stroke and may be unable to move or control part of their body as a result they will develop new neurons.
If they are not given any type of therapy this will still happen, but those new neurons may feed into the new and destructive way of stroke’s neuronal communication but your brain will lean on these new connections as they begin. The trick is to catch the patient who has suffered the stroke in time and to educate the new neurons to develop in the most positive of ways to help heal the individual in their recovery.
And people are living longer in this generation than prevision generations.
The advancements in medicines and the development of new therapies as well as more favorable living conditions and education mean that you need to look after your cognitive decline. Although people now have a greater life expectancy not everyone will experience a longer life that is as fulfilling as it can be.
Lots have been learned in the previous decades about how our brains work and age but much more is required to be understood to help guarantee people that they’ll have a much fulfilled old age.
But in the meantime, if you continue to think like you want to grow then you’ll begin to become aware of those around you who are willing to help you develop too.
Not only that but you’ll train your brain to notice what’s required for it to continue to develop positively and create new pathways of future wisdom.