Contributing Writer Melissa D’Agostino, LPN, Corporate Trainer

The brain is an amazing and complex organ, and there is much about it that we do not yet fully understand. One amazing fact that many are unaware of, it its ability to produce new brain cells at any age.  This, of course, could be a significant factor in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, as research in this area continues. However, what can it mean for the general population now? Quite a lot, I believe. Since our brains are able to produce new brain cells, then that could hold strong implications in prevention of Alzheimer’s, as well as in slowing the progression in those who have been diagnosed.

Now let us delve into some ways in which the brain can go about creating these new cells. Brain-building is similar to bodybuilding, in that it takes eating the right foods and exercising our brains. Foods high in vitamins and minerals are important building blocks for the brain. Also beneficial, are foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Certain proteins known as high-tyrosine, are imperative in the building of neurotransmitters, which are the messengers that carry signals from one neuron to the next. Hydration is critical as well, considering that our brains are made up of approximately 75 percent water. Beyond the nutritional component, activities such as socializing within groups, learning new things, and physical exercise all contribute to the brain’s ability to yield new cells.

This is a wonderful thread of hope to hold on to!  And might I add, that hope, too, is a powerful force in prevention and overall health. In fact, there was an article I read recently, which emphasized a clear link that had been found between cynicism and dementia. Hope is certainly the antidote for a cynical mind! With that said, I pray you will process this information with a hopeful and positive mindset. It seems that there is an overabundance of doom and gloom reported, when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s. I prefer to hold on to optimism and ownership, rather than despair and victimhood. I challenge you to empower yourself, and build your body and brain in fun and creative ways.