Brain Fog, No Way!

During January I noticed serious brain fog — misplacing keys, my cell phone, even forgetting an appointment. A rather scary experience when I’m used to a brain that serves me well. Given the myths on aging, I thought I had perhaps hit some serious undertow of that process. What I decided was that I wasn’t willing to have the brain fog continue.

My intent was clear — good brain functioning. Health has always been a key priority, however, frankly, I had not thought specifically about brain health. Then synchronicity showed up. I got home from church one Sunday, and it was raining hard so instead of a brisk walk I began to prepare lunch.  Surprisingly for me midday, I turned to a PBS.  A wiry, animated fellow was on the screen. When I heard him listing depression, anxiety and injury as major contributors to poor brain health he had my attention.

An hour later, I knew much more about the brain . Today thanks to recent medical research including that of Dr. Daniel Amen, the man I had been watching, we know much more about the brain than we did even ten years ago . Three things stood out to me:

  1. Keeping one’s brain healthy can slow down the aging process.
  2. Brain health, like overall health, depends in part on healthy eating and exercise.
  3. Stress and depression can both significantly impair the brain’s function.

When a brain scan is used aging can be detected. People who have been addicted to a toxic substance, for example, have much older looking brains. Do you remember seeing the fried egg ads that were meant to scare teens from drugs? Turns out they were not far frrom the truth.*

The good news is that we have much more power to affect good brain health and add to the quality and length of our lives. Over the next three weeks I will explore how to keep your brain healthy.

In the meantime, tune into how your brain is functioning. What contributes to clear thinking and what scrambles it, and share your discoveries as comments to this blog.

* If you are curious what toxic substances, be they drugs or excessive exposure to lead paint, can do to the brain, check-out Dr. Amen’s website.

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