Medical Corner: Brain Health

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthNobody wants to see their loved ones forget who they are. It’s a very hard road to take on both the patient and their loved ones. While we can’t stop all cases of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, there are certain steps we can take to avoid going down that road. Scientists believe keeping your brain healthy with brain training exercises is one of the best ways to know your state of mind.

Crossword Puzzles
Really, any kind of word or number puzzles work here. The point is to continuously stimulate the brain and keep your recall abilities high. By rotating through the different activities, you’ll stimulate different areas of the brain. This, in turn, helps keep the nerves functioning and healthy.

Read Books
Reading books is a low stress way to keep sharp. Researchers found that less than 50 percent of the population will read a book after graduating college or high school. Of those, only 25 percent will finish a book. That means only about 12 percent of the population will finish a book this year.

There is new research and speculation that Alzheimer’s and dementia are really just Type 3 Diabetes. In other words, it’s caused by eating too much sugar. Exercising is a great way to keep your body healthy and reduce those sugars. Research has long shown that people who exercise daily are healthier, eat healthier foods, and retain their health and mental well-being far longer than those who don’t.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Play Music
Music soothes and tames. It’s a well-researched saying that listening to Mozart makes babies smarter. Musicians, on the whole, have a lower risk of dementia than the rest of the population. Music is math, art, science, memory games, dexterity, exercise, counting, breath control, listening, feeling, and so much more. Research is just starting to be done on using music therapy to help people combat dementia. What researchers really do know is that musician’s brains are different. The connections between long-term and short term memory are closer than average. The ability to recall chunks of data is higher.

Learn a Foreign Language
The average American only learns 15 words of another language and never completely learns their own. The average European learns 2-3 languages, but never completely learns their own (they combine too many grammar rules). However, learning another language stimulates all parts of the brain and helps you understand your language and the other language. The exposure to culture and different ways to think is the key to developing the brain.

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