Health Talk Today

Baby Boomer

Myths About the Aging Brain Revealed

Myths About the Aging Brain Revealed(ARA) – Who says you can’t teach a mind new tricks at any age? Recent research shows that Americans have the power to positively influence their brain function throughout life – an important realization that is especially relevant for the more than 78 million baby boomers in the United States. Brain health is one of the top health-related concerns of aging populations and has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control as a public health priority.

“The fear of memory loss and losing brain capacity looms large among the minds of boomers,” says Dr. Majid Fotuhi, a leading neurologist and author of “The Memory Cure.” “But we can maintain and even improve our brain health as we age. In fact, our brains have the ability to grow and change throughout life.”

Dr. Fotuhi debunks four common myths surrounding the brain and aging.

1. The brain stops growing after childhood.

A decade ago, many experts would have scoffed at the idea that the brains of adults, particularly older adults, could grow or develop in any significant way. But that has changed. Research increasingly suggests that each time a new skill is learned, such as playing an instrument, speaking a foreign language or even dancing, new pathways are formed and areas of the brain may grow, even well into the later years. Physical and mental exercise can alter specific brain regions, improving in cognitive function. Brain growth isn’t just for kids.

2. Once I start experiencing memory loss, it’s all downhill and there’s not much I can do.

Actually, there are a number of things you can do to improve your memory throughout life, even if you are already noticing changes. Exercise, challenging mental activities, social engagement and diet adjustments have all been shown to have positive effects on cognition and memory. In fact, a new study published online in May in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, showed that healthy people with memory complaints who took algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo, a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid and a building block for the brain. Algal DHA products comparable to those used in this study can be found at major retailers like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens under the Algal-900 product name – look for the life’sDHA seal on these supplements to ensure you are getting an algal DHA source. For more information on foods, beverages and supplements that contain algal DHA, visit
Myths About the Aging Brain Revealed

3. Memory problems must mean Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people, young or old, worry that mild forgetfulness must be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. But most people are worrying needlessly – research shows that more than 80 percent of people will never get Alzheimer’s disease. Some experts now believe that it is time to redefine everyone’s understanding of age-related memory loss and dementia. Emerging research indicates that many people experiencing memory loss and dementia actually have mixed pathologies in their brains. In fact, very few senior citizens have “pure Alzheimer’s disease.” Instead, late-life cognitive impairment may in fact be a result of multiple “hits” to the brain, from a variety of risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, head trauma and poor diet. The good news? There is the opportunity to influence brain health and function by incorporating lifestyle factors like exercise, a healthy diet, stress reduction and intellectual and social engagement. Regardless of family history, the choices a person makes in life may be able to slow the progression of age-related cognitive decline or help prevent it altogether.

4. Brightest equals youngest.

Today’s society does place an emphasis on age but, keep in mind, people over 65 rule the country. The majority of legislators, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, judges, economists and CEOs are not in their 30s or 40s, but seasoned veterans who bestow several decades of experience and expertise. Along with gray hairs come both knowledge and wisdom and you do not have to look far to find inspiring stories of accomplishment, creativity and reinvention in the second half of life. To see some inspiring profiles of aging and learn more about the actions you can take to ensure that you build and maintain a mind that is healthy and beautiful for an entire lifetime, go to

Golden Oldies – 1957

I remember the good old days when you could actually understand the words in songs. I found an online jukebox with a lot of the old songs from 1957 and took a walk down memory lane. I was too young then to really be “into” that music. So, I suspect the songs weren’t all from 1957. I was amazed that I remembered a lot of the words. I learned to dance to some of these songs. Others reminded me of teen parties, old boyfriends and school days. What great memories!

Marilyn Kvasnok

Introduction to Health Talk Today

Welcome to Health Talk Today blog. This is one baby boomer’s journey into wellness.

With age comes wisdom. As time goes by, I’ve become increasingly aware of taking care of my body, mind and soul. And now, I’ve become passionate about caring for the earth, too. This blog will document the little changes I’ve made that have dramatically changed my health, my attitude and my life. And new things to think about and incorporate.

When I was young, I thought I was invincible – Didn’t we all! I saw it in my friends and then, in my children. Sometimes I think we’re just lucky to have survived. But, I’m convinced that all the things we do when we’re young can, and do, come back to haunt us. And now I know that living well from now on is the best course of action to take.

We can never go back. What’s done is done. But, it’s never too late to start from today and go forward to create a whole new future. And so, my journey continues . . .

Marilyn Kvasnok

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