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Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev
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Vfcs Presentation 04232009 Rev

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Understanding the Aging Brain Dr. Susan Hardwicke

Understanding the Aging Brain Dr. Susan Hardwicke

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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  • 1. Susan Hardwicke, PhD [email_address] www.vabion.com 804-308-1956 Understanding the Aging Brain
  • 2. Purpose <ul><li>To define issues related to the aging brain </li></ul><ul><li>To provide information about the brain </li></ul><ul><li>To summarize recent findings relevant to brain aging </li></ul><ul><li>To suggest ways to implement research findings </li></ul><ul><li>To answer your questions </li></ul>I have personally applied strategies to help clients, as well as to recover from chemo brain.
  • 3. “ Framing the Issues” <ul><li>Aging=accumulation of changes in an organism over time </li></ul><ul><li>Human aging: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Important to distinguish between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universal aging vs. probabilistic aging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chronological aging vs. biological aging and social aging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proximal aging vs. distal aging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individual aging vs. population aging </li></ul>
  • 4. Trends & Indicators <ul><li>Incidence of Alzheimer’s disease expected to skyrocket with “Baby Boom” generation </li></ul><ul><li>Incidence of Type II diabetes (>800,000 annually) on the rise, with incidence of early onset Alzheimer’s increasing </li></ul><ul><li>Obesity rates continue to climb </li></ul><ul><li>Health care costs for diseases associated with aging continue to increase sharply </li></ul><ul><li>Medical approach addresses treatment over prevention and reversal of symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Medications increase risk of liver disease </li></ul>
  • 5. Trends & Indicators -2 <ul><li>Increased spending by individuals on preventive strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Increased spending on alternative health strategies, practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative medicine focused on prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Increased membership rates in fitness organizations and exercise programs </li></ul><ul><li>Increased number of organizations with obesity- and food-related missions </li></ul>
  • 6. “Future Shock” in Health <ul><li>Disease and aging virtually synonymous </li></ul><ul><li>Aging population taking 10-30 medications daily </li></ul><ul><li>Large segment of population in long-term care for chronic or catastrophic disease </li></ul><ul><li>Increased burden on healthy workers to support population segments with diseases and disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Governments and families forced to make choices between basic services/necessities and medical treatment </li></ul>How to avert “future shock”? Prevention & mitigation
  • 7. Fears and Concerns <ul><li>Is AD inevitable? </li></ul><ul><li>Will I/my loved one lose memory? </li></ul><ul><li>Will I lose my mind? </li></ul><ul><li>Will my personality change? </li></ul>
  • 8. Aging Brain: Why It’s Important Now <ul><li>Aging (65+) population growth (from 12% - 20% by 2030) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased incidence in Alzheimer’s Disease </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current rate is 13% of 65+ age group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related to Type II diabetes, incidence may increase dramatically </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rising costs of care for aging population with cognitive decline, AD </li></ul><ul><li>Social costs of cognitive decline </li></ul><ul><li>Personal fears </li></ul>
  • 9. 1. A person loses 10,000 brain cells every day. FACT or MYTH? 3. We use only a small part of our brains every day. <ul><li>IQ peaks at age 20, declines over time, and drops off considerably after age 65. </li></ul>2. A person’s brain function is determined by genes and very little can be done to change it.
  • 10. <ul><li>Brain Research is Forcing a Change in Paradigm, Exploding Myths </li></ul>1. A person loses 10,000 brain cells every day. 2. A person’s brain is mostly determined by genes and there isn’t much that can be done to change it. 3. We use only a small part of our brains every day. MYTH - disproved MYTH – with some truth MYTH – more support for opposite MYTH - study was flawed <ul><li>IQ peaks at age 20, declines over time, and drops off considerably after age 65. </li></ul>
  • 11. 20 Years of Brain Research <ul><li>New field of cognitive neuroscience helps understand the functions of different brain areas </li></ul><ul><li>Neurology and neuroscience expand knowledge of types of cells </li></ul><ul><li>Exploded myths about brain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain cells communicate with each other (cell signaling) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain can regenerate (neurogenesis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain can rewire itself (neuroplasticity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain/thoughts affect physiological functions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supplements, pharmaceuticals, exercise play important role </li></ul>
  • 12. Neurogenesis: The Formation of New Brain Cells Pluripotent stem cell Multipotent stem cell/Neural Stem Cell Undifferentiated neurons Neurons Glial cells
  • 13. Anatomy of a Neuron Dendrites- receive electrical and chemical impulses from other cells Cell body- contains the nucleus of the cell’s DNA blueprint for division and replication, and RNA for protein synthesis Axon- long extension from the cell body that conducts electrical impulses, transports enzymes/chemicals
  • 14. What is a Glial Cell? <ul><li>10x more numerous than neurons </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple types, roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Astrocytes pcreate the blood-brain barrier that protects the CNS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication w/neurons to help regulate excitability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modulate neurotransmitter transmission (e.g., glutamate) </li></ul></ul>
  • 15. Glial Cells’ Protective Role <ul><li>Glial cells form the myelin sheath that protects and facilitates electrical transmission </li></ul>
  • 16. Electrical Transmission <ul><li>Mitochondrion </li></ul><ul><li>Synapse </li></ul><ul><li>Electrical signal </li></ul>Courtesy of wikimedia.org
  • 17. Neurotransmitters <ul><li>Chemical compounds (amines and amino acids) and polypeptides* manufactured in the neuron or human body </li></ul><ul><li>Excitatory and inhibitory </li></ul><ul><li>Regulate mood, activity, and storage of information </li></ul><ul><li>Stored in vesicles near axons </li></ul><ul><li>Role: transfer informational signals across the synapse, then return (through reuptake process) to original site </li></ul>>60 neurotransmitters!
  • 18. Cell Cycle <ul><li>Normal cells </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact inhibition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cell cycle control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cell differentiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programmed cell death: apoptosis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cancer cells </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncontrolled growth (malfunction of programmed cell death) </li></ul></ul>
  • 19. Aging: What Happens (Inevitable?) <ul><li>Cellular aging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hayflick Limit on cell replication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telomeres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imperfect replication of cells (DNA damage) - related to cellular energy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organismal aging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Declining ability to respond to stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased risk of disease </li></ul></ul>
  • 20. The Proximal and Distal Issues <ul><li>Proximal: “Use it or lose it” principal </li></ul><ul><li>Proximal: Sedentary lifestyles </li></ul><ul><li>Proximal: Increased alcohol consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Distal: Early disease, disorders untreated </li></ul><ul><li>Distal: Lifetime of neurotoxins </li></ul><ul><li>Distal: Surgeries, chemotherapy, injuries </li></ul>
  • 21. Areas of Cognitive Decline - Probabilistic <ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Processing speed, not quality </li></ul><ul><li>Decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Mood </li></ul>
  • 22. Brain Health Model
  • 23. Wellness Model Gender Lifestyle Medical history Activity/exercise Age Diet & supplementation Body Mass Index Family history Factors Screening Mental Exercise Physical Exercise & Lifestyle Diet & Supplementation Emotional/Spiritual Prevention & Mitigation Strategies
  • 24. Rationale for Model <ul><li>Achieve clear sense of purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of recent research and promote new brain cell growth (neurogenesis) </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the quality of new brain cells </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance intercellular communications </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance brain’s biochemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce or develop pathways in the brain </li></ul>
  • 25. Start with Emotional/Spiritual <ul><li>Make a conscious decision to improve or maintain your health </li></ul><ul><li>Achieve a positive emotional state DAILY </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on your core spiritual beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Build your sense of purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Try mindfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Increase your enjoyment </li></ul><ul><li>of being alive every day </li></ul>
  • 26. Diet and Supplements <ul><li>Remember: What you ingest is used to construct cells and in cell communications </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ingest toxins-- eliminate chemicals, additives, and artificial flavors and sweeteners </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease unhealthy fats and increase healthy fats </li></ul><ul><li>Increase protein </li></ul><ul><li>Add folic acid, probiotics, and other supplements that directly benefit the brain in particular, and energy in general </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain nutrients from dietary sources whenever possible! </li></ul>
  • 27. Research-based Brain Nutrients Essential Fatty Acids Amino Acids Sugars Minerals Choline and B-vitamins
  • 28. Research Shows Benefits of these Nutrients <ul><li>DHA (found in Omega-3 fatty acids) </li></ul><ul><li>Folic Acid (800 mcg daily) </li></ul><ul><li>Turmeric/circumin has tumor suppressant and anti-plaque benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Gingko biloba facilitates dendritic growth </li></ul><ul><li>Niacin- evidence based on dietary niacin </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate your medications for potential side effects on brain function, interactions with supplements </li></ul><ul><li>These research findings are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Consult your health care practitioner. </li></ul>
  • 29. Physical Exercise <ul><li>EXERCISE STIMULATES THE FORMATION OF NEW BRAIN CELLS!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cardio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weight training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unless you formerly worked out, start with walking (preferably outdoors) </li></ul>
  • 30. Mental Exercise <ul><li>15 minutes a day, every day. Repeat the same type of game for several weeks to build pathways in the brain. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concentration/memory puzzles and games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sudoku </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trivial pursuit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online memory games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cranium </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduce or eliminate television </li></ul><ul><li>Fill moments of “dead time” by deliberate thinking or reading, not allowing your mind to wander. </li></ul><ul><li>Get enough sleep to help your brain reorganize </li></ul>
  • 31. Additional Information <ul><li>Resources available via email </li></ul><ul><li>More nutritional information </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.brain-hub.blogspot.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EMAIL: susan.hardwicke@vabion.com </li></ul>

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