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BellaOnline's Alzheimers Editor

Exercise Your Brain

Columbia University Medical Center has identified a brain network within the frontal lobe that is associated with cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve means that these brain cells can compensate and aid individuals in maintaining function despite brain function decline due to Alzheimerís disease. This finding provides a clue to an important and common strategy: Increase your levels of cognitive reserve.

To build up your reservoir of brain cells:Itís never too early to set up for the golden years. Building a cognitive reserve begins during youth and deposits are made throughout the years. As you age, keep growing intellectually and spiritually. Even if it is harder to remember new information, keep reinforcing and learning. Review, write notes or highlight information. Everyone has a different approach to studying and learns through sound, visual cues, or motor coordination. The good news: Analysis actually improves with age! Itís not all those brain tests you keep taking that sharpens your brain. Rather, itís learning and studying which improves the mind.

Many Alzheimerís patients do better than expected because of their cognitive reserve. While there is currently no cure, postponement and alleviating symptoms are a close second.

For more information about cognitive reserve and the role it plays in prevention or slowing the progression of Alzheimerís click here to read an interview with Dr. Yaakov Stern in InVivo, the Columbia University Medical Center newsletter

For more information on caregiving please read my book, Changing Habits - The Caregivers' Total Workout, in particular Chapter 6 - What Is The Condition of Your House, Chapter 7 - The Difference Between Passion and Compulsion. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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