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The Link Between Good Health and Brain Health

While brain exercises like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and learning new languages are all helpful in keeping the brain elastic, there are many health practices that play a vital rule in how your brain ages over the years. Overall good health is important for keeping your brain healthy and protected from preventable illnesses. In fact, studies have suggested that good health can not only improve memory, but may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, and brain aging. Let’s discuss some basic wellness practices that can help maintain brain health.

Normal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has been linked to an increased likelihood for stroke. Highly elevated blood pressure can cause a tear in weakened blood vessels, which can cause bleeding in the brain. High blood pressure has also been linked to brain aging and damage, especially for those younger than 40. In recent research, findings have suggested that early control of blood pressure can improve brain health in later years.

Steady Cholesterol Levels
A study published in the journal Neurology suggests that adults who have higher levels of cholesterol in their brain are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease than peers who have lower cholesterol levels. While the exact connection between cholesterol and Alzheimer’s is unclear, some researchers think that fatty plaque that attaches itself to the brain can cause the disease.

Healthy BMI (body mass index)
Having a healthy body weight can improve many areas in your life, including better memory and brain health, according to researchers at Kent State University. Factors like diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and poor nutritional all worked toward decreasing basic memory and brain health levels. Happily, the study showed that weight loss and healthier eating habits can result in improved memory.

Sleep
There is a high correlation between sleep and memory. According to Nature Neuroscience, improving quality sleep helps slow memory decline in aging adults. Make sure you give yourself enough time for sleep each night, and speak with your doctor if you are having trouble achieving quality, restorative sleep.

Manage Stress
Stress has been linked to memory problems, increased drug sensitivity, brain aging, and even brain cell loss. Overtime brain structure can change and gray matter can decrease. Reducing stress in your life may help improve brain health, reverse damage, and even reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Not surprisingly, many of the above health issues can be improved following these tried-and-true methods:
Lose weight (especially around your mid-section)
Choose healthy foods
Exercise regularly
Quit smoking
Limit alcohol consumption

Brain health is important for maintaining quality-of-life in both young and aging patients. Take stock of habits that may be putting you at risk for health issues and discuss changes that may improve your overall neuro-health with your doctor. If you are experiencing neuro related illness that cannot be reversed or improved with diet changes, Dr. Duma, a board certified neurosurgeon in Orange County, can help you determine if neurosurgery may be beneficial. Through cutting-edge technology and years of experience, our Newport Beach practice has been helping patients become healthier since 1997. To learn more about neurosurgery options, contact Dr. Christopher Duma for a one-on-one appointment or call our office at 949-642-6787.