5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Working as You Age (Starting Today)
“Cognitive health is [your] the ability to think, learn and remember clearly,” explains Julie Rovin, MD, FAAN, DABMA, an integrative neurologist at Verde Valley Naturopathic Medicine.
This includes a number critical functions of the brain1, such as attention, reasoning, reaction time and memory. It also includes your ability to process information, navigate relationships, develop plans, and draw conclusions, Rovin adds.
However, like other parts of the body, the brain (and therefore cognitive well-being) naturally changes with age. To begin with neurons (nerve cells) decrease over time2which reduces gray matter 3 in the brain
Gray matter is the tissue involved in everyday cognitive functioning. Neurogenesis, or the production of new nerve cells, also slows later in life, which can ultimately affect optimal cognition. These changes are a normal part of aging, meaning everyone experiences them to some degree as they age. “Some older people may find that they are not as fast as younger people at tasks that require learning and memory,” Rovin explains.
Other cognitive functions such as attention and decision making4 can also change with age.