brain

Simple Lifestyle Changes May Improve Cognitive Function and Brain Efficiency (press release)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 by: NaturalNews
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
CDC admits it has been lying all along about Ebola transmission; "indirect" spread now acknowledged
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet

Delicious
A UCLA research study published in the June issue of The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that people may be able to improve their cognitive function and brain efficiency by making simple lifestyle changes such as incorporating memory exercises, healthy eating, physical fitness, and stress reduction into their daily lives.

“We’ve known for several years that diet and exercise can help people maintain their physical health and live longer, but maintaining mental health is just as important,” said lead investigator, Gary Small, M.D., professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. “The UCLA study is the first to show the impact of memory exercises and stress reduction used together with a healthy diet and physical exercise to improve brain and cognitive function.”

Researchers found that after just 14 days following healthy lifestyle strategies, study participants’ brain metabolism decreased in working memory regions, suggesting an increased efficiency – so the brain didn’t have to work as hard to accomplish tasks.

For the two-week study, 17 subjects with normal baseline memory performance scores were randomly assigned to two groups: a control group did not make any behavior modifications while a test group incorporated healthy longevity strategies to improve physical and mental function.

Details of the healthy strategies employed in the study are also highlighted in Small’s new book, also published today, called “The Longevity Bible: 8 Essential Strategies for Keeping Your Mind Sharp and Your Body Young” (Hyperion, New York, 2006).

Participants on the healthy longevity plan incorporated the following into their daily routine:

•To stimulate the brain, memory exercises such as cross-word puzzles and brainteasers were conducted throughout the day.

•To improve physical fitness, participants took daily walks, which have been found to increase life expectancy and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

•To improve their diet, study participants on the plan ate five small meals a day, which prevents drops in blood glucose levels since glucose is the main energy source for the brain. In addition, they ate a balanced diet full of omega-3 fats, antioxidants and low-glycemic carbohydrates like whole grains.

• To manage stress, participants performed daily relaxation exercises. Small notes that stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone that can impair memory and damage brain memory cells.

Brain function was tested before and after the 14-day study, using positron emission tomography (PET) scans to measure brain activity. Participants who followed the healthy longevity lifestyle plan demonstrated a five percent decrease in brain metabolism in the part of the brain directly linked to working memory called the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex.

“The finding suggests that for participants who had followed the healthy longevity program, the brain functioned more efficiently and didn’t need to use as much glucose to perform effectively,” said Small.

In addition, compared to the control group, participants also performed better in verbal fluency, a cognitive function controlled by the same brain region.

“The research demonstrates that in just 14 days, simple lifestyle changes can not only help overall health, but also improve memory and brain function,” said Small. “Our next step is to assess the individual effects of each lifestyle strategy, which may help us develop an optimal combination.

The study was funded by the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, the Judith Olenick Elgart Fund for Research on Brain Aging, and the Parlow-Solomon Professorship on Aging. Study co-authors also were from UCLA and included Daniel Silverman, M.D., Ph.D., Prabha Siddarth, Ph.D., Linda Ercoli Ph.D., Karen Miller, Ph.D., Helen Lavretsky, M.D., Benjamin Wright, M.D., Susan Bookheimer, Ph.D., Jorge Barrio, Ph.D., and Michael Phelps, Ph.D.

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, published monthly, is the official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and can be found online at http://www.AJGPonline.org.

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.