What's Good for Your Heart Is Good for Your
SATURDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Some simple precautions and
activities can help keep your mind sharp and your brain healthy
throughout your life, an expert says.
Genes and chance certainly play a role in memory loss, brain
tumors, strokes and other brain disorders, Dr. Keith L. Black,
chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center in Los Angeles and director of the Maxine Dunitz
Neurosurgical Institute, said in a news release.
But brain health isn't totally out of your control. There are
ways to reduce your risks of both diseases and injury to the brain,
Black said, including:
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike or playing sports. That goes
for both adults and kids. Learn the symptoms of concussion, and
take head injuries seriously.
- What's good for your heart is good for your brain. The same
things that can cause heart disease and heart attack -- plaque
buildup and arterial damage -- can also cause strokes. Watching
your cholesterol, controlling your blood pressure and exercising
can benefit your brain as well as your heart.
- Exercise your brain by doing puzzles and games, or activities
you enjoy, such as reading, learning languages or knitting.
Research suggests that staying mentally engaged as you age may help
ward off some memory declines.
- Eat a nutritious diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole
grains and high-quality protein.
- Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation.
- Don't smoke.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Counter stress through relaxation, meditation or exercise.
- Learn the symptoms of stroke and get help immediately if you
suspect you're having one. Don't be lulled into believing you're
too young to have a stroke. Twenty-five percent of all strokes
occur in people younger than 65 and even young adults and children
can suffer a stroke. Getting rapid treatment can limit permanent
- When using your cell phone, use the speaker function or a
headset. While early studies have not found evidence that radio
frequency waves from cell phones increase the risk of brain tumors,
Black said, the effects may become evident over decades. It's best
to be cautious.
The Society for Neuroscience outlines ways to
keep your brain healthy as you age.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.