Magazine article USA TODAY

Aging Brain Cells Tend to Lose Function

Magazine article USA TODAY

Aging Brain Cells Tend to Lose Function

Article excerpt

Just when you are old enough to be considered wise about the ways of the world, some days it is awfully hard to find your glasses. As individuals age, brain cells may deteriorate or function less efficiently, potentially affecting the speed of mental processing and ability to retrieve information rapidly. Yet, many factors besides aging influence mental ability. Depression, stress, sleep disorders, poor health, and certain medications are among the most common.

Mayo Clinic Women's Health-Source provides a number of healthy choices to help keep the mind and body in top form:

Exercise the mind. An active brain produces new connections between nerve cells that allow cells to communicate with one another. To challenge your mind, try taking a class or engaging in a new hobby. Other activities that could help include reading, volunteering, and keeping connected with friends.

Stay physically active. Exercise increases blood flow to all parts of the body, and might promote cell growth in the brain. To reap the most benefits, exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

Eat fruits and vegetables. Oranges, berries, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes contain antioxidants--substances that may help protect brain cells from damage over time. …

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