Two Guys on Your Head
2:07 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Protecting Your Brain as You Age

Credit flickr.com/jvandoor

Whether we like it or not, time marches on. And as it does, we age. 

One of the most challenging realities for everyone to face in life is that we are all, inevitably, destined to grow old (if we’re lucky, that is).

Aging correlates to a steady decline of functional abilities, both physical and mental. Memory and cognition peak in our early twenties, and we begin a very slow, steady decline of those functions as we near our senior years.  

After age 80, many bodily functions – including brain function – seem to have reached the average limit of their operation. So what can we do to preserve our brains for as long as possible?

You know what they say: use it or lose it. The more you think now, the more you will be able to think later, as you age. Activities that are interactive and intellectually rewarding, like having good conversations with people, are not only enjoyable – they’re also good for your brain.  

The next time you spend too long talking to someone, lost in a good conversation, there’s your excuse –  you were exercising your brain. And by the same token, physical activity and fitness help preserve brain function. After all, your brain is a part of your body – so you have to take care of your body to take care of your brain.

So: think a lot, move a lot, and live a lot if you want to live longer. Drs. Art Markman and Bob Duke give you more of the details.

You're only as old as you feel: Continued activity - both physical and mental - protects you as you age.

Don't miss a chance to talk about Alzheimer's research with UT professors of neuroscience at the fifth annual Memory Matters Conference this Thursday, May 15, 2014.

An MP3 version of this story