This past July, the AARP wrote an article about common myths about our aging brains. The information was taken from a report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH).
The GCBH is a group of scientists, scholars, policy experts and health professionals.
The 7 myths they debunked were as follows:
Older people can't learn new things.
You're stuck with the brain you're born with.
Experts don't have a clue on how the brain works.
Dementia is inevitable as we age.
Learning a new language is for young people.
Older people are doomed to forget.
Memory training is enough.
The recent discoveries of neurogenesis, ability to grow new neurons, and neuroplasticity, ability for our brain to adapt and build new neurological connections, have made many of these myths easily dismissed.
Cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, but with the avoidance of disease we truly do have the power to control the rate at which that decline happens.
Studies before demonstrated that older adults were lacking in certain cognitive skills compared to their younger counterparts, however, many of these studies had the two age groups taking some type of test.
Younger adults are used to taking tests, many may even still be in school or just recently got out. Older adults may not have been is an examination setting for quite some time.
When scientists realized this, they revisited some of these studies and allowed for those older adults to partake in training and their cognitive scores increased.
This just shows that the "USE IT OR LOSE IT" mantra does have some truth to it.
Most decline happens in the areas we are no longer using as much, for some that may be language, others numbers.
The key is to continue to challenge your brain.
Take some advice from the AARP article - learn a new language, take up a musical instrument, or become a pro poker player!
Just remember that the more you use your brain the less you will lose.
And of course keep that body moving so that you can maintain your health and fend off any disease related declines.
If you want to read the whole AARP article you can find the link below.