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Alzheimer's and the Brain: Foods and exercises to keep your brain healthy

Scientists have long been studying beta-amyloid, the sticky protein that builds up in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone makes beta-amyloid, but in those with Alzheimer’s disease, the protein accumulates to toxic levels, eventually forming clumps in the brain called plaque that may play a part in damaging brain cells critical for thinking and memory.

Exercise and a Healthy Brain

Physical exercise has a protective effect on the brain and its mental processes, and may even help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.

Mental Challenge Protects Brain from Declining

Were you aware of the fact that you do not lose mass quantities of brain cells as you get older? Their isn't much difference between a 30 year old brain and a 75 year old brain. Certain parts of the brain, however, are more prone to damage and deterioration over time. The Basal Ganglia, coordinate commands to move muscles and the Hippocampus transfers new memories to long term storage elsewhere in the brain.

Frontal Lobe Brain Damage

Damage to the frontal lobe can have a number of effects in terms of type and severity. For example, damage might result in a loss of motivation, with the person becoming fatigued, lethargic and struggling to get out of bed. Damage can also result in a range of behaviors such as undressing, eating and drinking non-food items, urinating in public, walking outside with out any clothes on.

Occipital Lobe Brain Damage

The occipital lobes of the brain are mainly involved in processing information from the eyes. If damage to the occipital lobes does occur it may lead to an inability to recognize objects. All alzheimer's patients are not affected with this particular damage.

Temporal Lobe Brain Damage

The temporal lobes of the brain are essential for memory. Damage to the temporal lobes, and parts of the frontal lobes, means that while certain objects might be recognized there is little or no ability to capture new information and remember it later.

One of the main challenges in the field of Alzheimer’s disease is identifying individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease so that therapeutic interventions developed in the future can be given at the earliest stage before symptoms begin to appear.

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