You can live without your appendix.  It’s useless.

    You can live without one of your lungs, your tonsils, your spleen, etc.

    But what’s your most important organ?

    The heart?

    For me it’s your brain as, without it, you’ve no self.  No identity.

    And, unfortunately, we experience cognitive decline as we age.

    The age of its onset varies from individual to individual.  Has yours started?

    A quick online search shows studies pointing to every decade from the 70-somethings back as far as 20-somethings.

    I’d bet that that age-range covers the majority of people reading this!

    Recently I read an article with some tips on how we can protect our brain from cognitive decline.

    The core idea was that we should do things that help with a process called neurogenesis.  That’s a very fancy word but, in layperson terms, what it means is the generation of new neurons.  Traditionally it was thought that neurogenesis did not happen in adults.  But now that thinking is changing.  Opinions still differ in the scientific community and a lot of work remains to be done. The debate perhaps won’t end until we can figure out a reliable way of examining the brains of living people to see if their brains contain young neurons.

    So if neurogenesis is not proven, should we pay any attention to what the article recommended?

    Yes – because (at least) two of them are on rock solid ground scientifically-speaking:

• 150 minutes weekly of modest aerobic activity

• Prioritise sleep

    You’ve probably heard exercise and sleep be recommended to you on thousands of occasions.  There’s nothing new here – except perhaps that “150” minutes number.  (Note that an alternative is 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.)

    The only reason I mention them again here is that, in addition to helping you better function in a day-to-day sense, they may also help protect your brain from that cognitive decline!

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