In this last Blog in our series on the subject of senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s we want to focus on some other measures that can be taken to keep our minds healthy and active during our full 120 year term on this planet.
It has come to our attention that the people who seem to have the longest lasting and best minds are those who engage in lifelong learning
For years, researchers have noticed that people with more education and intellectually demanding careers, tend to have a lower risk of dementia. But the evidence had been less clear on whether intellectually engaging activities may be protective when started later in life.
In recent studies, researchers separated lifetime intellectual enrichment into two categories: early to mid-life and mid to late-life. Not surprisingly, high lifetime intellectual enrichment was associated with higher cognitive function. However, people who engaged in mid to late-life cognitive activity also had less cognitive decline over time.
The effect of mid to late-life cognitive activity was particularly strong in people who did not have a high score of cognitive enrichment in early to mid-life. In other words, it’s never too late to start training your brain!
The studies specifically looked at people with certain genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. As expected, older people with those genotypes had lower cognitive function overall, but older people with the risk factors who had a high level of lifetime intellectual enrichment were shown to have their cognitive impairment delayed by nine years on average.
So what kind of intellectual enrichment can be effective? Trials have found that elderly people at risk of cognitive impairment that volunteered in elementary schools experienced gains in cognitive function and improved executive function. And, while brain training games and crosswords are popular and also show benefit, one should also consider other types of intellectually challenging activities, such as learning a new skill or activity, particularly in the context of a social environment and all the better when the social setting is among younger people.
Another important factor in continued long term mental acuity is the use of specific Chinese herbal medicines. As we mentioned in our last blog, the use of herbal medicines for specific conditions should be managed by a doctor of Chinese medicine, but for prevention of senile conditions there are several herbs that can be very helpful.
Herbs like acorus, ginkgo, Siberian ginseng and many species of edible mushroom all have shown to increase cognitive function and memory in numerous scientific studies.
Although often marketed individually, it has been found that using these herbs in specific combinations actually give the best results. For instance, the leaf of the ginkgo tree is particularly useful for increases in long term memory but not so much for short term, while acorus root is very good for short term memory but not as good the gingko for long term memory.
Edible mushrooms like hericium, ganoderma, reishi, shitake and miatake have long been used for longevity and mental acuity in Asian cultures and for the past sixty or so years we have learned that about any edible mushroom produces these same benefits to some degree.
Here at Atlantic Institute, we have developed a formula we call “Brain Food” that is made up of the most effective balance of the four major brain enhancing herbs. In a concentrated (5:1) formula we have engineered and compounded a proprietary a blend of acorus root, gingko leaf, hericium mushroom and Siberian ginseng into a formula that has the best potential for deterring all of the thirty-one patterns of diagnosis that are associated with dementia, senility and Alzheimer’s.
You can order a 30 day supply of concentrated Brain Food for $30.00 + S&H today by visiting the Atlantic-acupuncture store.
Yours in good health,
Robert Kienitz, DTCM