Although people might think cognitive decline is normal as you age, the fact is brain power can actually be improved at any age.
Neuroplasticity enables the brain to adjust and revolutionize even as you get old. Throughout life, your brain has the ability to reorganize itself to increase cognitive abilities and improve memory at any age. However, neuroplasticity also allows your brain to get worse as you get older, which is why neuroscientists recommend enhancing your brain power.
Although cognitive skills tend to decline with age, there are actually steps people can take to give a boost to that brain machinery. We just have to keep our brains fit with a series of steps and tips.
Below are some tips on how you can improve your memory, enhance mental performance and boost brain power:
1. Have an active lifestyle
In general, anything that is good for your heart is great for your brain. Movement is healthy for the mind. A study published in NCBI found that aerobic exercise training increases brain volume in aging humans. In a span of six months, the researchers in the study looked into the brains of healthy but sedentary people aged 60 to 79. After subjecting them to aerobic fitness training, they showed significant increases in brain volume, further suggesting that cardiovascular fitness is associated with the sparing of brain tissue in aging humans.
2. Avoid chronic stress
Hormones function differently, and some of them can cause brain aging. An example of such a hormone is cortisol, which is released when you are experiencing chronic stress. In the short-term, cortisol helps the brain to cope with life-threatening situations. However, raised levels of cortisol over a long period can decrease the number of brain cells, which may lead to dull memory.
"Cortisol creates a surplus of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate creates free radicals - unattached oxygen molecules - that attack brain cells much in the same way that oxygen attacks metal, causing it to rust," Bebrainfit.com reports.
3. Get enough sleep
Each night while you sleep, the connections between neurons (called synapses) shrink to reduce or eliminate the memories you don't need — such as what you ate for breakfast last week and the clothes you wore yesterday. This selective pruning of synapses during the night prepares you to form new memories the next day.
"During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information and getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours," explains lifehack.org in an article.
4. Have a healthy brain diet
Brain health supplements such as Neubria Spark is an advanced nootropic multivitamin formulated to support memory and cognitive function. Spark contains ‘Clarity Botanical Complex’ a powerful blend of botanical extracts — Turmeric, Bacopa monnieri extract, Rosemary, Sage, Ginkgo biloba and Ashwagandha — plus Citicoline Sodium, Co-Enzyme Q 10 and 22* essential nutrients. Below we have highlighted why our unique formulation enchances your brain and memory in numerous ways.
- The main bioactive in turmeric is curcumin (see also Neubria Spark & Neubria Edge), which has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that may explain its neuroprotective properties (1,2).
In laboratory studies, curcumin improves spatial and recognition memory (3), ameliorates neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and memory deficits (4), boosts cognitive function and protects against neurotoxicity in Alzheimer’s (5). In a trial in 60 adults, a curcumin supplement was shown to improve working memory (6).
While an RCT in 40 older subjects with no dementia, curcumin significantly improved memory and attention (7)
Sage has benefits in brain health. An RCT in 20 healthy older volunteers found a sage extract aided memory consolidation and improved accuracy of attention (8).
- Ginkgo biloba has a variety of cognitive benefits. With regards to memory, a trial in 31 healthy volunteers (30–59 years) showed an improvement in memory, especially working memory, over a one to two-day treatment period. Improvements were most pronounced for subjects in their fifties (11).
A further study found improvements on tests of short-term memory, mental flexibility and sustained attention in postmenopausal women after a week of ginkgo supplementation (12).
Ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory, and this is now being confirmed by scientific studies. In an eight-week trial in 50 adults ashwagandha demonstrated significant improvements in immediate, general and logical memory, compared with placebo. There was also an improvement in executive function, sustained attention and speed of information processing (13).
- Rosemary has long been known as the herb of remembrance (17), and this is now being supported by research showing it can, help improve memory (18,19). The mechanisms behind its nootropic effects are not clear but Rosemary extracts have been found to enhance the production of the nerve growth factor (NGF (20). This is utilised by neurons in the basal forebrain which are lost in Alzheimer disease (AD) (21).
5. Stimulate your brain
Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to "use it or lose it." Helpguide.com notes that the more you work out your brain, the better you'll be able to process and remember information.
Along with physical activity, mental stimulation results in brain 'fitness.' While playing Sudoku and other mind-boggling puzzles may challenge your cognitive skills, that's not the only way you can stimulate your brain. In an interview with TIME, Dr. Karen Li, head of Concordia University's laboratory for adult development and cognitive aging, revealed social activities such as engaging in fruitful conversations, visiting
intellectual invigorating places such as museums and learning new skills, play a great role in enhancing brain function.
For a link to our Neubria Spark Click Here.
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3. Bassani TB, Turnes JM, Moura ELR, et al. Effects of curcumin on short-term spatial and recognition memory, adult neurogenesis and neuroinflammation in a streptozotocin-induced rat model of dementia of Alzheimer's type. Behav Brain Res. 2017;335:41-54.
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8. Scholey AB, Tildesley NT, Ballard CG, et al. An extract of Salvia (sage) with anticholinesterase properties improves memory and attention in healthy older volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008;198(1):127-139.
9. Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M, Mohammadi M, Ohadinia S, Jamshidi AH, Khani M. Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2003;28(1):53-59.
10. Perry NSL, Menzies R, Hodgson F, et al. A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial of a combined extract of sage, rosemary and melissa, traditional herbal medicines, on the enhancement of memory in normal healthy subjects, including influence of age. Phytomedicine. 2018;39:42-48.
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13. Choudhary D, Bhattacharyya S, Bose S. Efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) root extract in improving memory and cognitive functions. Journal of Dietary Supplements. 2017 Nov 2;14(6):599-612.
14. Mosharrof AH, Petkov VD. Effects of citicholine and of the combination citicholine + piracetam on the memory (experiments on mice). Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1990;16(1):25-31.
15. Mosharrof AH, Petkov VD, Petkov VV. Effects of meclofenoxate and citicholine on learning and memory in aged rats. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1987;13(4):17-24.
16. Bruce SE, Werner KB, Preston BF, Baker LM. Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline-caffeine beverage. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014;65(8):1003-1007.
17. Duke JA. Alzheimaretto. J Med Food. 1998;1:53.
18. Perry EK, Pickering AT, Wang WW, Houghton P, Perry NSL. Medicinal Plants and Alzheimer's Disease: Integrating Ethnobotanical and Contemporary Scientific Evidence. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1998;4:419.
19. Ozarowski M, Mikolajczak PL, Bogacz A, Gryszczynska A, Kujawska M, Jodynis-Liebert J, et al. Rosmarinus officinalis L. leaf extract improves memory impairment and affects acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities in rat brain. Fitoterapia. 2013;91:261-71.
20. Kosaka K, Yokoi T. Carnosic acid, a component of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), promotes synthesis of nerve growth factor in T98G human glioblastoma cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003;26:1620-2. Epub 2003/11/06.
21. Crutcher KA, Scott SA, Liang S, Everson WV, Weingartner J. Detection of NGF-like activity in human brain tissue: increased levels in Alzheimer's disease. J Neurosci. 1993;13:2540-50. Epub 1993/06/01.