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4 Surprising Facts About Your Brain

July 26, 2017

We pay a lot of attention to attending to keeping our bodies in shape that sometimes we forget about keeping our minds healthy. Patient advocate Laura Kolaczkowski spoke with two neurologists to learn some facts about the brain and to share steps to take better care of them.

The decline of your brain begins early on

By the age of 5, our brain is already about 90% of its full size. By our 20s, our brains are pretty much wired together. However, by the time in our young adult life, our brain begins a slow decline, meaning the brain begins to shrink. This is known as atrophy, which is a normal part of aging.

You can’t get a brain transplant

Aaron Boster, a neurologist at OhioHealth Neuroscience Center’s Multiple Sclerosis Clinic stated that each of us only have one brain in our lifetime. It is the only non-transplantable organ in our bodies.

But you can keep learning, even as you get older

Brain plasticity allows our brains to create new pathways and keep changing in a positive way, despite unavoidable effects of aging. This ability to change relies on cognitive reserve, and it helps explain why even as our brain is shrinking, we can still learn new things. We can create cognitive reserves for future use by making healthy lifestyle choices for our brain when we are younger. What you store in your reserves now will be available to help the brain function later on in life.

There are many ways to keep your brain healthy – but not smoking is especially helpful

While the process of atrophy can’t be avoided, there are steps most people can take to slow it down. These include being physically, mentally, and socially active, eating a good heart-healthy diet, maintaining regular sleep habits, avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, and refraining from smoking.

Via Mango Health