Strategies for maintaining brain health as we age
Although memory loss is often a normal part of aging, there are steps we can take to help prevent and/or slow the progression of memory loss as we age.
The earlier we begin engaging in strategies to improve brain health and function, the larger the benefits. Regular exercise is one of the best activities for improving and maintaining brain function, as it increases blood flow to the brain, releases endorphins and reduces mood problems.
Getting regular, adequate amounts of sleep and eating a healthy, balanced diet are also essential to maintaining healthy brain function.
It is also important to stay socially and intellectually engaged to stay sharp, which can be done by doing activities such as volunteering for charitable organizations or getting an exercise buddy, which allows you to be social while also being active.
For individuals who are already beginning to experience some memory loss or difficulties, using memory aids such as lists, notes-to-self and calendars can help people adjust to the changes in brain function they are experiencing.
However, if you are experiencing memory loss that continues to rapidly progress and worsen, it is important to discuss your condition with your doctor, as you may need to be assessed for cognitive impairment and/or dementia.
Fortunately, Cone Health Neurorehabilitation Center has a dedicated neuropsychologist who works with doctors, most commonly neurologists, to make a conclusive diagnosis of dementia and/or rule out the disease, and get patients on the right path toward treatment.
Dr. Michael Zelson is a neuropsychologist at Cone Health Neurorehabilitation Center.
Dr. Zelson received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware in 1985.
He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware in 1989. Dr. Zelson is an affiliate of the National Academy of Neuropsychology.