Education

The brain is our last medical frontier. It has long been a mystery, and it is masked in myths. We long believed – erroneously – the brain was set from birth and could not be healed when injured by trauma or a dementia.

Now we know differently. A brain can repair itself through neurogenesis. This is attributed to neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to generate and reorganize “synaptic connections,” especially when learning or following injury at any age.

While we are far from a pharmaceutical solution for dementias, there are easy measures healthy adults can take. Leading physicians and researchers believe adopting tenets of the Mediterranean lifestyle can measurably improve brain function.

We support five interventions that are simple and require only diligence and desire:

Exercise: At least 150 minutes of brisk walking every week

Mediterranean Lifestyle: Mediterranean-style fresh food prepared with olive oil

Lifelong Learning: Something new that is brain challenging

Socializing: Conversing purposefully with friends & family

Meditating: Cooling the brain for 20 minutes each day

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Brain Health Expertisehttp://brainhealth.nia.nih.gov

Dale Bredesen, MD, wrote “The End of Alzheimer’s:  The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Decline” (2017).  While his approach is patient-personalized, he incorporates the Five Interventions championed by Memory Matters.  As Dr. Bredesen says: “It is noteworthy that the major side effects of this therapeutic system are improved health and an improved body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.” To learn more, go to www.newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/memory-loss-associated-with-alzheimers-reversed-for-first-time

Norman Doidge, MD, wrote “The Brain’s Way of Healing.” He lucidly explains how the brain’s capacity is dynamic and sophisticated, making possible a unique and gentle kind of healing. His findings turn on its head the belief that the brain is fixed and unable to recover mental abilities lost due to damage or disease. To learn more, go to www.normandoidge.com

SC DHEC “Take Brain Health to Heart” additional ideas: http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/Alzheimers/TakeBrainHealthToHeart/