Brain Health: How Your Brain Changes With Age
The brain is an organ, but it behaves like a muscle, and muscles love to learn and be challenged. As we move through the different life stages, our brain acquires new information, learns fresh practices and develops different habits. Old nerve connections are lost, and new ones are built, in the ever-changing environment that is the brain. These processes are known as “brain plasticity”. Age is a wonderful thing, without it we could not hope to be exposed to the magnitude of influences necessary to grow and expand the mind and its abilities. Being a wise owl is great, however, noticeable changes in brain performance do creep in as we get older. Forgetting to take medication or difficulty remembering names could be an indication there is cause for concern. Take a look at how the brain changes with age below…
Pregnancy – your child’s developing brain
Providing what your baby needs during pregnancy is what your body will do naturally, however, the resources need to be ‘in the bank’ so to speak. There is plenty of attention paid to diet advice for pregnant couples, with emphasis on nourishment that will support their baby’s development. No less considered is the baby’s growing brain. Rapid growth changes occur in a baby’s brain during weeks 24-42 with a significant spurt from week 34. Similarly, the foods we consume for our own brain health stand to benefit that of gestating babies.
Did you know?
There are approximately 100 billion nerve cells in the brain. In early pregnancy they develop at a rate of 250,000 per minute.
The brain reaches maturity when we reach our 20s. Areas such as reasoning, impulse control and planning are fully developed.
If you’ve experience ‘brain ache’ then you’ll probably have been diligently studying for exams or for an important meeting or presentation. Nourishing our little grey cells with brain loving foods is good advice but there are some other natural protocols you could introduce to support your learning, memory and concentration. We love diffusing aromatic rosemary essential oils when the brain is being stretched. With a history of memory and concentration enhancing properties, this natural therapeutic oil could be just what you need to cement your knowledge. A study had shown that students studying in an environment where rosemary essential oil was diffused, achieved 5% to 7% better results in memory tests. The study linked the active compound 1,8-cineole to this attributei. A refreshing, herbaceous scent to help focus the mind.
It’s at this period in our lives that nerve cells start to gradually decline and brain volume starts to reduce.
Short term memory may be trickier to recall as the first signs of gradual brain volume decline starts to show. Reactions to complex situations may also take that much longer.
Understanding, creativity, financial literacy and language is still acute; however, multitasking may be a little more of a challenge.
Reasoning, creativity and solving problems are still sharp although processing information may slow down.
Cognitive health problems may become apparent; lifestyle and health issues will start to express themselves.
Did you know?
Creativity, wisdom and personality can remain constant our entire lives
Coughlan. C. (2017). Exam revision students 'should smell rosemary for memory'. BBC - Education Secion. Available online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39780544
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Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.