Tag Archives: cognitive health

EVOLUTIONS JOKE

At one of my recent talks, someone asked me  why I was so active promoting brain health, cognitive health?  My answer at the time was “Because we didn’t know, but now we do!  Now that we know we have to do something about it.”  My answer may have had context after a talk, but not here.  So, I filled in the middle between “We didn’t know” and “Now we know and have to do something about it.”   It came out as

EVOLUTION’S JOKE                                                                                                            Based on our structure and physical capabilities we, as humans, should never have survived.  But evolution provided us with opposable thumbs and a unique brain with the capability for learning, reasoning, problem solving, planning, conceptual thought, and complex communication.  The brain that evolved provided us with a gateway into a world that went far beyond our natural surroundings.  It was a world we could create and expand.

The evolution of the human brain has given us fire, tools, the wheel, electricity, the telescope, cars, the steam engine, the train, the telephone, radio, the plane, television, digital electronics, space ships, to mention a few, and we’ve wiped out or controlled numerous diseases.  Our evolutionary success has even led to an increasingly older population.

Those are incredible accomplishments EXCEPT, that our older population, programmed to retire at the age of 65, has no defined societal age role and is plagued with memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is at the top of the charts with vascular dementia a nearby second.

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WHY DO WE EAT-PART 1

Why do we eat?  The answer to that question seems to have gotten lost in western civilization.  With time and the availability of food we’ve become “DAMAGE DOERS”.  We eat too much food, we eat too much food at one time and we eat too much of the wrong foods. 

We depend on our environment to provide us with what we need, particularly in the area of food.  But, we’ve let the speed of processing, processed foods, fast foods, television advertising, sugary drinks and how food is made available to us create an environment that’s damaging to our health, particularly our cognitive health. 

We focus on weight and heart health, but what you eat has a major impact on your brain’s ability to function, and on how well you think.  The older you get the worse it gets.  We blame age, but it’s not age.  It’s the health and functioning ability of your brain. 

Regardless of how educated you are, if your brain isn’t as healthy as it once was, it won’t function as well as it once did. Continue reading

Your Brain Isn’t What You Thought It Was

Our understanding of our brain and how it functions has developed with the availability of technology. Today we know that your brain probably isn’t what you thought it was!

For centuries available technology led us to believe that the brain was considered to be a fixed, genetic inheritance. The human brain was thought to be a passive receiver and distributor of information. And it was believed that we didn’t generate experience-dependent brain cells much past our early twenties. That meant that for most of us we couldn’t make new memories or learn as we got older. That changed in the 90’s with the availability of new technology.

Why then do we have memory problems as we get older? Why is learning so much more difficult? Why is cognitive decline considered to be the result of aging? And why isn’t cognitive health and ability the concern of people of all ages and not just older adults? What does age have to do with cognitive ability? Finally, can we regain and retain cognitive health at any age? That’s what this website and blog are all about! READ MORE