Why Coffee is a Top Brain Food: Interview on Dublin Ireland’s FM104:

The folks in Ireland want to know about the benefits of drinking coffee. A radio station from Dublin called me out of the blue. They had seen me quoted in a magazine and asked to interview me.

11 Minute Radio Interview

I’ve included the link at the end for you to listen to the interview, what fun with my slow southern idoms and their fast Irish Gaelic! The interview is only 11 minutes but before you click it, let me just tell you what I did not have time to say on the air.

Coffee is a TOP brain food, but it is not for everyone. I give speeches all the time about brain foods and eating for your brain. For some people though, coffee can have negative side effects, two main problems from coffee abuse, you can eat out the lining of your bladder and in synergy with other items, coffee abuse is linked with high blood pressure—and both of these leads to a host of other brain health problems. Plus, for some it just gives them the jitters.

So the question stands, what do you do?

That’s where I come in, your dementia practitioner and brain health specialist.

As a former dementia healthcare administrator, I went back to school and these last few years I have rooted myself in brain research relating to dementia, Alzheimer’s especially, and I have studied under the doctors who have reversed cognitive decline under scientific study and clinical trials. Under their protocols I have developed a 9 Step Alzheimer’s Reversal/Memory Retention Map which I specifically tailor to you or through you for a loved one.

Results as soon as Two Weeks!

We can see results in as little as two weeks, but to get a firm latch on your cognizance it takes roughly 3 to 4 months (and we continue to build and improve for a full 12 months!).

Nutrition is definitely one of my 9 steps to getting your Brain in Gear, we go over brain foods and coffee is one of them but it is not for everyone.

9 Step Alzheimer’s Reversal and Memory Retention Map

Enjoy this 11 minute radio show on how drinking coffee can be good for your brain. And if you would like to talk about your situation, you give me your story and we can develop a plan of action for you, please make a free appointment for a videocall. Let me know if I can help you.

I’m Janet Rich Pittman, a Dementia Practitioner but YOUR Brain Health Specialist, helping you find your memory, reverse Alzheimer’s via a 9 Step Alzheimer’s Reversal and Memory Retention Map so you can age successfully. Enjoy the Irish radio recording!

Click here to listen to the interview on Dublin Ireland’s FM104

You Tub Link for video of this post click here

To talk with Janet click here to schedule an appointment

 

From her recent training based on clinical trials and scientifically proven studies,  Janet has developed and facilitates a 9 Step Alzheimer’s/Dementia Reversal/Memory Retention Protocol lasting 3 to 4 months, with results experienced in as little as two weeks, where she counsels and works with those whose mind is being vacuumed away by Alzheimer’s or other dementias.  Janet helps you to find and keep your memory, so you can continue to enjoy life and make memories.

 

The purpose of this information is to convey knowledge. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your condition or to be a substitute for advice from your main healthcare professional. Sincerely, I wish you and yours the very best in brain health.

                                                                                                                                                     www.JanetRichPittman.com

Lefties have Better Brains

 

Your dominant hand, whether  left or right, is determined by the functions of your brain and is part of your cognition.  And lefties have better, healthier brains, better in the sense in that their brains are ‘fatter’, they have more brain cells.

Your dominant hand is determined

by the functions of your brain and

is part of your cognition.

New brain cells make you smarter, quicker, giving you instant recall and allowing for proper snap decision making.  We all need new brain cells, so how did lefties gain the advantage?

 

Let’s travel back to 8th grade science, where we learned that our right hand is controlled by the left side of our brain and the actions of our left hand are controlled by the right side of our brain.  But we need to make sure we realize that both sides of our brain DO NOT mirror each other.[i] Each side is responsible for certain actions and we have a bundle of nerves called the corpus calosum[ii] that link the two hemispheres which are in part, responsible for inter-hemispheric communication (in other words, both sides communicating for proper brain function).

 

Lefties use these corpus calosum nerves  when challenged with right hand actions.  Their thoughts, dominant on the right side of their brain are forced to communicate with the left side of their brain.  This forced communication creates new brain cells.[iii]  Consequently, lefties have a larger bundle of these corpus calosum nerves linking our two brain hemispheres than do righties.

Left handed individuals

have more of the corpus calosum nerve fibers

than right handed individuals.

 

 

When  we humans learn something new and process new facts, we create new connecting brain cells or synapse[iv].  These are cells that string neurons together and continue your train of thought.

 

Lefties are constantly learning and processing new information.   And it is because… we live in a right handed world.

 

Lefties are constantly

 learning and processing

new information.

Reading is backwards, for lefties, to them we should read right to left.  Writing is backwards too.   In our school years, desks were all for right handers.  Scissors and string instruments played havoc, maybe still do, as well.  And through life:

  • Numbers and the ‘enter’ key are on the wrong side of computer keyboards,
  • Phone and mouse are on wrong side of a desk,
  • Major tools are right hand equipped,
  • Door handles and locks are opposite what the inclination is,
  • Everyone greets with the wrong hand as well as
  • Bumps elbows while eating with groups.
  • Credit card swipes are on the right and
  • Even the direction for driving our cars is in favor of right handed folks.

The list goes on and on.

 

So it’s quite understandable how lefties’ brains develop more cells, they are constantly processing a new way to accomplish a task, a task that is counter to their inclination to reach with their left hand, a task that we righties have already established a routine for.  Voluntary muscles and the nervous system is in automatic gear for righties.  With everything made for the right hand, there is no need for righties to ponder or think of another, new way.

 

A challenge for righties, especially on national left hander’s day August 13 every year, is to grow more brain cells, create more synapse by using your left hand.

 

If on your computer, right now, move your mouse to the left side of your keyboard.  If you still have a box phone, change sides too.  If you only use a cell, keep it always on your left.

 

Turn off the light switch, which is on the right side of the door usually, and grab then use the TV remote with your left hand.  Put your keys in your left pocket, swing your purse over your left shoulder.  Tonight, brush your teeth with your left hand.  Be more observant and whenever you reach your right hand, stop and accomplish the task with your left hand.

 

Yea, it’s hard.  You really have to stop and process your actions.  This awkwardness, this difficulty is the evidence that in fact, you are creating more brain cells.

 

The awkwardness, the difficulty in using your left hand

for various everyday tasks

is evidence you are creating more brain cells.

If you are truly serious about creating more synapse, building up your brain cell synapse foundation to truly have good brain health then  enacting on these ‘left handed ‘ actions cannot be just for today.  You have to do this for the rest of your life.

 

If you are truly serious about building up your brain,

 to have good brain health,

use your left hand for the rest of your life.

Your new goal?  To become ambidextrous.  Yep, righties, change everything you do, from this point forward, except for writing, and do it with your left hand.  You will know you have accomplished this new goal of creating a thicker area of corpus calosum nerves, of fattening up your brain, when it feels more odd to accomplish a task with your right hand than with your left.

 

At that time, try working on writing with your left hand.  And never stop creating more brain cells.

 

I’ve been ‘left handing it’ for a number of years and still have trouble styling my hair with my left hand.  I don’t yet write with my left but I sign my name and initial with my left hand and prefer to use my left hand for many tasks now.  Again, it is a continuous life goal to become ambidextrous!

 

To progress in life and age successfully, we need as many brain cells as we can keep functioning.  Strive for a fatter brain.  Righties, take a play from the lefty play book and always try and use your left hand for your dominant hand.

 

Wishing for you good brain health, giving you pointers, tools and tips for the best in brain health,

 

 

[i] http://www.rightleftrightwrong.com/brain.html

http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/545/Right-Brain-Hemisphere.html

[ii] http://science.sciencemag.org/content/229/4714/665.long

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4023705

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18612086

[iv] Whitlock JR, Heynen AJ, Shuler MG and Bear MF. Learning induces long-term potentiation in the hippocampus. Science. 25 August 2006, 313(5790): 1093-1097

 

 

The purpose of this information is to convey knowledge. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your condition or to be a substitute for advice from your main healthcare professional. Sincerely, I wish you and yours the very best in brain health.

 

www.JanetRichPittman.com
Janet Rich Pittman
SCALA, CDP, Brain Health Specialist, Dementia Prevention Specialist,
Dementia Administrator, Dementia Practitioner

 

For more ways to power up your brain, read my ebooklet, 9 Signs You’re Experiencing Brian Drain with Ways to Keep Your Brain Fully Charged.  The electronic version is free or $7.99 for a printed version, shipping included.

Diets in Action – Diets for Brain Health

Anne was caring at her home for her mother suffering from beginning Alzheimer’s said she would do anything for her mother but needed to keep her career moving. A strict ketogenic diet was my advice for the beginning of her mother’s protocol reversal program yet Anne did not know what a keto diet was nor did she have time to cook one. The first step in getting her mother’s cognitive decline stopped and leveled out was 1. hiring home health care to help with activities of daily living and activities in the protocol plan and 2. subscribing to delivery of fresh Keto meals and snacks.

Bob’s cognitive impairment was slight, not full blown Alzheimer’s yet along with some other issues, his LP-IR score was high and his sdLDL was too high so the ketogenic diet was not for him. He was a sugar fiend and his leptin receptors shot, they were non functioning. So while difficult at first, we did get him off sugar, licorice tea was most helpful, and got his gut in gear with specific individualized dietary tools and methods which paved the way to work further on his cognitive impairment.

When I am counseling folks in my Brain-in-Gear Program, I start by addressing their symptoms based on the food they eat, their microbiome, their personality and their life activities. Again, this is a START.  For the Brain-in-Gear Program I spend an entire 12 months with them fully addressing their bodily health and cognitive performance through a developed protocol for them, an individualized and specifically tailored plan of action created just for them. (My actions are based on my experiences as a dementia administrator, dementia practitioner and schooling under Dr. Dale Bredesen, the first MD research scientist to scientifically reverse 109 of 110 patients/participants under clinical trials suffering cognitive impairment in ‘beginning to middle’ Alzheimer’s.)

Developing an individual’s protocol begins with what they eat. And after learning what they eat I suggest making small changes inroad to getting their gut in gear.

And when their gut is indeed in gear, when they have a clean gastronomic palate, a ‘clear as can be’ canvas of operation, a foundation of health we both can count on, I then can help further identify the cause of the cognitive weakening and other symptoms they are experiencing. That’s right, a precursor to my Brain-in-Gear Program is my Gut-in-Gear Program.

No cookies after every meal? No nightly ice cream before bed? Drinking only once or twice a week? Yes, this first step, making the small dietary changes, is the hardest. (Yet I make it easy though, first with substitutions.) And for most, making these changes is huge, even significantly life altering. But that is what we want, correct? A definite change in our cognitive behavior, a return to ‘normal’ thinking. Our brain function has changed for the worse, now we must change it back to the better.

And that change does not happen out of the gate. A colt is not going to win the Kentucky Derby without winning a few preliminary races.

So to get the gut in gear for cognitive impairment, it’s a slow steady process. It is very doable with smart choices and easy substitutions. Taste buds change, you begin to feel the difference. Pretty soon the good food choices start to crowd out the bad where there is no question of what to eat.

Here’s where I suggest people start. I’ve put it together in an easy to consume (get it?) Gut in Gear guide with 5 easy swaps to better health – it’s a start!

GET THE GUIDE here NOW

But, the temptations to fall back to the old ways of eating are vast and easy, hampering morale and confidence. Plus you really don’t know exactly what to eat or not to eat.  Again, I address that in the full Gut-in-Gear Program.  You try new things, new substitutions.  But in this beginning, after your first taste of horrible diary free ice cream, you will never want to try anyone else’s dairy free anything again, so I am going to give you my Super Secret 5 Best Tips for Getting your Gut-n-Gear.

It’s a guide of examples in making lateral shifts. And it’s a start. If you would like more help in truly getting your Gut-in-Gear so to firstly get and then keep your Brain-in-Gear. investigate participating in my Gut-in-Gear Program.

On this 5 Secrets substitution list,  enjoy what you find, and tell me how/if they relate to you. Also, share any other substitutions that have worked for you.

Helping to keep your memory, age successfully and have good brain health, here’s to YOUR good brain health!
The purpose of this information is to convey knowledge. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your condition or to be a substitute for advice from your main healthcare professional. Sincerely, I wish you and yours the very best in brain health.  

                                                                                  www.JanetRichPittman.com  

 

Janet is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and former Dementia Healthcare Administrator.  After years of being at the bedside, holding your mother’s hand trying to caress the dementia away, Janet immersed herself in brain research.  Now Janet is on a mission to power up people’s brains to prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias, even reverse cognitive impairment.  Learn more about Janet here.

We’re Dying Our Brains!

What do these foods have in common?

Box cakes and their icing, beverages, juices, candy, cereal like Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops, OTC drugs, Florida oranges, cosmetics (especially lip sticks), ice cream, sorbet, frozen fruit bars, sausage casings, maraschino cherries, gelatin desserts, BBQ sauce, fruit salad, Doritos and other chips, instant ice tea, Hamburger Helper?

They are all loaded with synthetic, artificial food dyes man-made from coal tar or petroleum.

Scientific studies, specifically from Pediatrics, The Lancet and Journal of Pediatrics, told us about 10 years ago, that these dyes were damaging the development of our children’s brains and could be a main source for ADHD-Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.  For those children NOT suffering from ADHD disorder, the studies also told us these same dyes can make kids hyperactive and/or hysterical, if not just plain nervous.

In the last few years studies, such as those from International Journal of Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering and World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, not only confirm artificial food dyes cause developmental brain problems but they also indicate artificial food colorings are a cause of brain cell degeneration.

Basically food coloring, eaten over the years, is a cause of dementia.

Dementia is from brain cell degeneration and that is when brain cells deteriorate, break down and die causing the brain to lose function.

When foods dyes are consumed over a series of months to years to decades, this causes the brain not to function at prime capacity. In other words, we lose names, train of thought, words are dropped where we cannot finish a sentence, we are tired all the time and somewhat in a haze.

And when we keep eating the coloring and other toxins, it gets worse, where we make improper judgment calls, our reasoning is off, we do not have strong control over impulses and emotions, changes in personality creep up, we cannot focus and pay attention, our senses become weak and our visual perception is off.

Yellow dyes are associated with high oxidative stress which creates free radical production.  Simply the yellow dye causes your brain cells to go crazy and beat each other up (hyper inflammation) , eventually killing each other.

Various artificial blue dyes cause gliomas which are tumors made in the glia cells, the supportive cells to neurons which hold up the neurons and direct them. Yep, tumors as in Brain cancer!

Orange to red dyes work to build up plaques in the brain.  Actually they cause a specific protein, amyloid precursor protein, to misfold and starve brain cells, resulting in dementia, Alzheimer’s the most common form of dementia.

The European Union has demanded warning labels be issued on foods containing artificial synthetic dyes.  Australia and the United Kingdom have banned these chemicals in foods altogether.

Why have companies in US not taken these artificial dyes out of our foods?

Companies make the food/candy with the coloring to make it attractive so to garner a sale. Obviously, it’s a political issue. And because of the cheap price and the attractiveness of the coloring, the packaging and the taste, we keep on buying it.  So let’s don’t because foods containing these dyes are killing our brain cells.

We can get good tastes, not the same taste though and maybe not even a better taste, from natural foods with natural colorings, but we will at least get safe, natural and productive nutrients to give us a healthy brain.  With a healthy brain we are sharp, quick and mentally astute; we have instant recall and energy as well as the most important, we are preventing dementia.

Nutrition is a main way to have good brain health. Not only do we need to absorb nutrients from all natural foods to better our brain, we must, else we will dye our brain to death.

For more ways on how to get a healthy brain:

Good to talk with you!

 

Read more

Brain note to the Tax Man…

 

Hello Bob,
Year after year you and your staff rave over my kumquat pie I give you in appreciation for preparing my taxes.
This year, no kumquat pie; it is too much sugar and processed dairy. I’ve got to walk the talk.
Many forms of Dementia are basically Diabetes III—three, like Diabetes I and II where insulin is a problem. Like the pancreas, the brain produces insulin too and if we eat too much sugar and not enough nutrients, we overburden our brain cells where insulin cannot get all the nutrients into our brain cells, thus we starve our brain cells, cause them to die. And that’s what dementia is, significant death of brain cells over series of years. Dementia begins to formulate in your brain 10 to 15 years before symptoms ever occur.
So…no sugar and no processed bleached wheat flour this year. (Processed bleached wheat flour it a simple carbohydrate which quickly turns to sugar plus it is loaded with gluten and our gut brain nor our head brain can digest or process it–it causes bad problems.  To know more on the damage wheat does to our brains, read another article I wrote here.)
Here is an all natural carrot bread; need more experimenting with kumquats though. Hopefully kumquat all natural something next year.
Thank you for your tax preparation service.

CARROT BREAD
This is ‘not real sweet’ bread, nice for a breakfast snack
with coffee or hot tea.
1 1/3 cup cooked and pureed organic Carrots
(about 2 overloaded cups baby carrots = 1 1/3 cup pureed)
3 Eggs from free range chickens, beaten
1 cup Regular Olive Oil (can use EVOO but taste may be too strong in bread)
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
¼ +/- cup of Honey
½ cup organic Coconut Flour
½ cup organic Flax Seed Flour
1 cup chopped roasted Pecans
Add carrots with all liquid ingredients and blend thoroughly in mixer, add dry ingredients. Pour into greased rectangle bread pan and bake 50 minutes 350 degrees.
Special note: if you cannot find or do not have flax seed flour, you can use coconut flour, less though, use only 2/3 cup. If you do not have coconut flour, use full cup of flax seed flour. Coconut flour hardily soaks up liquids and not as much is needed. I have made this with walnuts and taste is delicious. Make sure you use raw nuts, or roasted nuts, no salt. Salt gives it a more bland taste. And if you want it more sweet, next time increase
honey to 1/3 cup.
Bon Appetite for a healthy brain!!!

Why you need to start running..

Here is Fuel for your Resolution to Workout More

     It was just reconfirmed yet again, through another study publicized in the Journal of Neuroscience, that running, actually any aerobic exercise, grows new brain cells. (See photo below.) There are many types of brain exercises but aerobic exercise is the number one brain exercise.

     And running/jogging is one of the best aerobic exercises because it truly pushes abnormal amounts of oxygen deep up into your brain, opening up sleepy cavities delivering nutrients—feeding our beloved brain cells as well creating new brain cells.  Simply, running forces the issue.

     Dementia is relatively sudden and rapid death of brain cells.  If you are 55 or 60, 5 years is sudden.  And it takes 5 to 10 to 15 years for massive brain cells to die before dementia symptoms are acknowledged.  Average age to be diagnosed with dementia:  65, range is 62-68.  That means when we are in our late 40s we are teasing dementia, our brain cells are subject to the beginning of the brain cell killing rampage.

     The main way to fight dementia, prevent it and stay ahead …brain exercise.  The number one brain exercise …aerobic exercise.  The number one aerobic exercise …running/jogging.  All you have to do is start.

     When is your next workout?

   

Kodali, Maheedgar et al, Voluntary Running Exercise-Mediated Enhanced Neurogenesis Does Not Obliterate Retrograde Spatial Memory, The Journal of Neuroscience, 3 August, 2016, 36(31): 8112-8122; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0766-16.2016

Are Your Brain Pooper Scoopers Working?

 

For all of us who nod off at 2pm everyday or just push that morning snooze button, one more time, we don’t need scientific studies to show or prove to us that lack of sleep makes our brain slow and tired.

     Now what we may not know is what the latest sleep science tells us, that the cost of poor sleep is far greater than what most people think, it causes brain damage.

 

     When we deprive ourselves of sleep we prevent out brain’s glymphatic system from fully working.  Dr. Maiken Nedergaard and her colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center discovered that our brain has a sleep instigated waste drainage system, a glymphatic system.

     At night when we sleep, our brain cells shrink up and allow the flow of Cerebrospinal fluid, a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.  This special cleaning liquid moves through the brain along a series of canals that surround our brain blood vessels.  This system is our glymphatic system and is managed by our brain’s glia cells.  With these glia cells moving the fluid throughout the brain they flush out toxins and harmful chemicals.  Thus, the glia cells are nick named “brain pooper scoopers”.

     Key is…our glymphatic system works primarily when we are in stage 3 and 4 of sleep, that slow wave deep sleep, the sleep right before our REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when we have all those crazy dreams.

     So if we don’t sleep, when we don’t get good slow deep wave sleep, on a consistent basis, we don’t clean out our brain gunk, i.e. bad cells and harmful toxins.  Over time when we don’t get enough sleep, the brain gunk accumulates and kills our good brain cells.  We all know when a large amount of brain cells die, we get dementia.

     Main factor for good brain health…get plenty of sleep, at least 7 hours, right at 8 hours a night, every night.  Go catch plenty of Zs tonight!

     Here’s to your good brain health!

BEST BRAIN PERFORMANCE: Middle Age to Age 67

     Concerning age, there are two ends of the spectrum.  Age in our mid 20s wins for having the most speed, the quickest reaction time as well as for having the most weight.  Check May 11 previous post for supporting evidence.

     But that is NOT the case for our other brain functions.

     Through a study of various aged people lead by Dr. John Gabriele and the psychology department of Stanford University together with T. Hedden, they concluded that various cognitive functions peak, are at their best, middle age to late in life.  In addition, this study also proved that the age for peak brain performance not only varies based on age and function, but this variation is dependent upon social class, economic conditions, educational status, sex, genes and population grouping.

     Specifically, six basic types of brain actions were studied by Gabriele and Heddon and results showed that all brain functions, except speed but including reasoning, verbal memory, perception and numeric ability peak early to mid 50s. And verbal ability peaks at age 67!!!

     Ya who!!!!!

     But why are you having senior moments? Why cannot you remember that name?

Joshua K. Hartshorne from the Department of Psychology, Harvard University and Laura T. Germine Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts lead a study of IQ and memory tests from 48,537 individuals of various ages.  They also found that cognitive abilities, or different types of brain functions, peak at various times.  Some abilities peak and begin to decline right after high school; some abilities plateau in early adulthood, beginning to decline in our 30s; and still other abilities do not peak until our 40s or later.

     “At any given age, you’re getting better at some things, you’re getting worse at some other things, and you’re at a plateau at some other things. There’s probably not one age at which you’re peak on most things, much less all of them,” says Dr. Hartshorne.

     It’s not yet clear why these skills tend to peak at different ages, but Dr. Hartshorne and Dr. Germine tell us previous research suggests that it may have to do with changes in gene expression or brain structure as we age.

     Three main activities, we can conduct to strengthen our brain structure to retain our cognizance in addition to sustain, even push our genes to reproduce healthy cells, not sickly cells so we retain a healthy body, are 1. eat right every day combined with 2. aerobic exercise and 3. brain exercise for the rest of our lives.

     At any age we are winning, and like Hartshorne said, we are at our peak of a variety of brain functions at various ages.   In order to maximize your peak brain performance at any age throughout life, opt in to making the most of your good brain health; eat right and conduct aerobic and brain exercises.

     Here’s to your good brain health!

70Plus Ski Club…Are you a Member?

 Amazement…Fascination… Awe…jolt through your body when you merge with the next snow skier in the lift line who just happens to be 71 years of age.

From conversation riding the lift up together, Kathy and her husband Bob, age 74 who himself is a snowboard instructor, started skiing in their 30s and just love it.

     As the lift glided down for our departure point leading only to blue, aka moderate, and black, most difficult, runs this was Kathy’s last run,  but only because she had to meet her athletic trainer at the gym in an hour.

     In wanting to know Kathy’s history and secrets to staying on the slopes, moderate to difficult at that, I forgot to ask her if she was a member of the 70+Ski Club.

     This is a club of seniors, you guessed it, 70 years or over, notice I did not say ‘or older’ who gather at different snow skiing locations a number of times a year during the snow skiing season to…yes you got it, to snow ski together.

     At age 76, Lloyd Lambert started the club because he saw his friends and ski buddies give up the sport due to the expense and the fact they were losing their skiing buddies.  As an avid racer and skier in his day, Lloyd used his ski business connections to offer free or discounted lift tickets and to organize ski events to bring seniors together.

     Richard Lambert, Lloyd’s grandson, is the administrator of the club today and organizes trips and events for the 3000+ members here in the US.  This year’s ski trips total 8 including one to Meribel France along with two races concluding in March at Hunter Mountain NY with their annual meeting.  Race categories range 70+, 75+, 80+, 85+, and 90+ male and female.

     I spoke to their recent gathering at Big Sky Montana.  But who needed to speak to them about dementia prevention?  Long time member Tom Hoober, 78 from Lancaster PA, and I found each other on a lift which emptied over only strong blue runs and he made it down before me.

Greeting again and not knowing our soon connection, we rode the lift up again and skied down together which was an embarrassment as he elegantly flowed down the hills and I nervously hesitated and wobbled at every dip.  By spending the afternoon skiing and riding the lifts together, I discovered Tom loves to ski because of the rush experienced while cutting through the wind gliding down the snow as well as the sense of accomplishment giving you energy for one more run.

     John Orton, from Albany, NY, says the snow can shut you in and give you the winter blues.  Since depression and loneliness are a precedent to dementia, John has it right when he says you must accept the weather, the snow and just embrace it. Snow skiing is the perfect way.

     Of all in the group, the majority were woman.  Christyna Sheldon, 73 from the Tampa FL area says the club gives her the perfect opportunity to meet new people and make friends.  Since her husband passed away, she has a readymade venue to continue her love for snow skiing and meet/make new friends.

     Ellie Rothman, 80 ½, from Florence MA has a passion for snow skiing because it makes her feel so good.  When the weather is right she drives about an hour once a week to her neighborhood snow skiing area and meets up with friends. The problem she says is keeping all her friends.  Once she went to 10 funerals in 8 weeks and realized that not only must she keep going, but that she must also have a positive attitude and let nothing ‘get you down’.  A little scotch now and then helps too, she quips.

Jackie Godo-Kiss, 86 from the Hermosa Beach CA is perhaps the most adventurist.  Not only is she a black diamond skier, daily she practices yoga on her paddle board in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where she is an avid shark sighter.

     With every new person met, the definition of ‘anti aging only adding years’ keeps coming into focus.

     But the question ‘how’ still remains. How does a person in their 70s or 80s snow ski?  The common denominator all 100 or so snow skiers/snowboarders on this Big Sky trip possess is the common denominator every person who wishes to simply add years to their life with no pain and no dementia should possess.  The common denominator:  consistent, continual—EVERY DAY– aerobic exercise.

     EVERY person…every snow skier in the 70+group I interviewed, all said the same thing.  What keeps them on the slope as well as perky in life is aerobic exercise, everyday.

     Remember Kathy who had to make one last run before she met her trainer?  She is at the gym every day.  Along with aerobic exercise, Edie Dempster, 86 from Poulsbo WA claims her 14 weight lifting machines at her gym are the trick.  Resistant training/practice makes her “super flexible” and keeps her active.

     “Active” was the next common denominator all possessed.  “After exercise”, Edie Dempster continues, “you have to stay on the go and be on the go. When you retire, exercise and being active are your new career, or should be your new career, snow skiing or not. “

     Tom Hoober used to be an avid tennis player.  Because of bad knees, weights, spinning, the elliptical and the treadmill challenge him daily.  His snow skiing buddy Chip Kirchner, in his mid 70s still plays tennis three days a week.  During his off days he plays Pickle Ball with Tom.  They also enjoy Paddle Tennis.  Exercise not only keeps them active but helps them fall into a social scene after exercising for cocktails or meals.

     The 70Plus Snow Skiing Club definitely portrays a prime example of only adding years to your life and not aging.  And in adding these years they are not adding pain nor dementia.  Whether you snow ski or not, exercise and being socially and mentally active are the keys to adding years to your life.  Have you or are you ready to start your new career exercising and being active?

     “Even though I am very active on the weekends, I do take the weekends off from exercising,” states Edie Dempster.  At a fascinating 86, she’s earned it.

 

What is Dementia?

     Age in most countries is associated with wisdom.  Today, here in the US, age is associated with dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s.

     Dementia strikes the majority of its victims around age 63, specifically between age 60 and 64. But actually, getting dementia as you age is like breaking your leg as you walk down the street.

     Dementia is not normal.  Dementia is a disease.  Dementia begins to formulate in your brain 10-15 years before symptoms EVER occur.  Most types of dementia can be prevented, some dementia can be nearly reversed.

     Dementia is a description for a wide range of symptoms caused by decline in cognition or mental ability used to perform everyday tasks, tasks such as confirming your dress shirt is starched and suit clean for the wedding this weekend to cooking for your extended family to maintaining peak performance from your car to the thought of a new toothpaste…daily tasks.  Bottom line, dementia is when an abnormal amount of brain cells die within a relatively short amount of time.

     What is abnormal cell death?  Well, our bodies are cellular rejuvenation and renewal machines. It takes about 18 to 24 months to replace your bones, 3 to 4 months to replace your muscles. Hard core statistics for brain cell reproduction are not so definite.  We just learned about 10 years ago that indeed you could replace—grow new brain cells called neurogenesis.  But we know loss of cognition is caused by losing a concentrated and significant amount of brain cells, which is NOT normal.

     What is a short amount of time?  If you become incognizant by age 70 it has taken 10-15 years to build this death of brain cells in a specific area of your brain.  Ten years compared to 70 years…is short.

     The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of the US state there are up to 50 types of dementia diseases.  Alzheimer’s represents roughly 60 percent of dementia.  The National Institute on Aging, NIA states that those who do not have Alzheimer’s many have a mixed type of dementia involving more than one brain disorder.   Diseases which are dementia –again significant death of brain cells–are AIDs, Alcohol Dementia, Concussion, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Huntington’s Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Mixed Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Vascular Dementia, Korsakoff Syndrome.

     There is no cookie cutter description of dementia.  When was your last cold?  No one’s cold symptoms are the same, some sneeze galore, others are congested, others cough, others have sinus pressure headaches, others have a combination of many symptoms, others suffer from just one.  Just as cold symptoms vary, so do dementia symptoms.  Dementia is just not memory loss.  Severe memory decline, a popular symptom mostly associated with dementia, occurs usually a quarter to 1/3 after dementia has settled into your brain.  To learn why you are having memory loss and the difference between memory loss ‘Senior Moments’ and dementia, subscribe to my free blog OnTheBrain found www.TheBrainNerd.com.

     Dementia symptoms are actions resulting from cognitive decline.  When two or more cognitive functions are faulty in operation, MCI, mild cognitive impairment is diagnosed and dementia has long set in.

     Look for fault in two of these cognition traits:

  • Reasoning and judgment

  • Impulses and emotions

  • Memory, recall

  • Senses, visual perception

  • Communication and language

  • Ability to focus and pay attention.

     Just as a massive amount of heart attacks have opened our eyes in the last few decades to heart health, our society stricken with dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s, has shown us how important good brain health is.  We all will go someday, but don’t we want to go with a healthy and productive mind which has given us wisdom and the capacity to hold our treasured memories?

     Keep reading here at OnTheBrain to understand what causes dementia and how to prevent it, specifically, how to have good brain health.  And feel free to contact me with questions.  Here’s to YOUR good brain health.