Aging Human Brain: Farook Aman, Ottawa, Canada

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     Aging Human Brain: Farook Aman, Ottawa, Canada

This is a synopsis of a presentation made by Dr. Frank Knoefel. It was held on July 3, 2019 at the none other than the famous venue of The Duke of Devonshire Retirement Residence located at 1095 Carling Ave, Ottawa, Canada. The Business Development Manager of this classy Retirement Residence is Mrs. Joan Kuaick.

Dr. Frank Knoefel is a medical specialist in the function of the human brain. He is a renowned worldwide public speaker on this topic. He is well informed with the outcome of various relevant research studies; the human brain, how it functions and what potential remedies, if any, might be available to his patients. The subject matter which he eloquently chose to speak about on that beautiful Wednesday morning of July 3, 2019 was Aging Human Brain and the daily struggle of the human brain to keep active as we get older.

Dr. ­Knoefel commenced his talk by referring to the fact that the human brain continues to develop right from birth to the age of 29, thereby building a huge memory disk of various life experiences and events. He says that the weight of the human brain is approximately 3 lbs, made of neurons that are electrically activated through a light up neuron process depending on the nature of the information collected.

Evidently, since we are born, we immediately start learning. Children will memorize words such as Mom, Dad etc. Repetition creates a make-perfect-memory. It is the orientation of time and place that is important to our daily life activities. The Brain therefore gets loaded with an assortment of continuous flow of information with the relevant language media that is understood to relate to as an important oral communication tool. Therefore, at an early age, we tend to build blocks of sentences and paragraphs which are stored to be retrieved as and when needed.

Vision Station Ability provides the natural ability to identify with objects. In addition, the frontal part of our brain is different from that of the brain of an animal. We can for instance plan for the future. We can plan for a vacation trip, the day, the place, the distant; the budget needed, as well as allow for contingency situations, etc.  The animal brain does not have that ability and cannot plan for the future.

Anatomy – Cognition

The Executive part of the brain is located in the front segment of the brain. The Internal memory allows for repetition to be transferred to semi permanent or permanent use when required. For example, when we use a phone number for one or two times only, the likelihood of remembering and retrieving that number again from our memory cell can be a complicated challenge. However, repeating the use of the same number over and over again is more likely to be retrieved easily without any trouble.

One way to explain the intricate function(s) of a human brain is to examine the proper and efficient operation of the human lung and heart to ensure that the brain is continuously supplied with red oxygenated blood. The lung has tiny balloons to breathe in and breathe out as it expands due to its elastic nature. As a young individual, enough supply of oxygen is usually provided to the brain which in turn functions efficiently.

Aging and Respiration-

When we get older our body muscles also get weaker. The lung muscles are no exception; they too get lazy to breathe in and out. The simple explanation is that as we get older and weaker, we do not get enough oxygen to all parts of the body, thereby less oxygen is pumped to the brain.

Anatomy – Circulation

Needless to emphasis that circulation of oxygenated red blood is vital to every single neuron in the brain. This would allow it to function well and efficiently. However, we may ask: How do we accomplish this task. It is of course through the beating of the heart which continuously pumps red blood to all parts of the body, which in turn makes these organs operate easily. However, as we age, the heart gets older and also weaker and may or may circulate red blood as well as it should be to keep our body active and a live! The heart has pipes, which are elastic in nature to apply appropriate pressure to pump blood through the use of arteries, blood vessels, etc. However, when we experience difficulty in breathing, it is because our blocked arteries are not doing the job it is required to do. It therefore experiences difficulty to have a smooth breathing system to ensure oxygen circulation throughout the human body and of course to the brain too.

Plan –

Let us examine the situation of what happens as we get older. A research study indicates that as we get older over the age of 29 years, we start losing brain cells at the rate of 29,000 cells a day. This process of losing brain cells will climb up to 50,000 a day as we continue to get older. Therefore, when we multiply 50,000 lost cells each day by the number of days in a year; we would be looking at billions of lost cells per year, with no possibility of compensation or recovery.

Aging Neurons-

From the above explanation, we recognize that the loss of brain cells is a fact of life as we get older. This promotes the challenge of slower processing function(s) to respond speedily enough to life activities.

We are advised that we have to take care of our physical health in order to promote better brain function too. The theory of eating well, sleeping well and have regular exercise may be considered a simple enough process to adopt or follow in our daily life. However, it takes strong commitment and discipline to adopt this vital functionality. It is evidently tougher than we envisage, for the majority of people worldwide find it hard to adhere to for 365 days a year of daily continued active programme..

Why? Well, because humans have to be reminded all the time to carry out activities that will have positive returns to their respective bodies and its complicated functions. Success is closely associated with determination, enthusiasm and self motivation which are vital to achieve the ultimate goal of, at least, reducing the impact of aging.

The heart is an essential organ to keep relatively healthy to continue to pump efficiently. That means that increasing the rate of heart beats due to regular exercise will promote an increase in healthy body and brain muscles due to the flow of oxygen. Similarly, the lungs work to increase the number of blood vessels that will use oxygen in the lungs.  The more oxygen there is, the better it will be for a breathing progression.

In addition, the physical exercise will reward, in part, the eventual increase of oxygen to the brain too. Therefore, we have learned that exercise increases blood circulation to also increase flexibility and therefore more oxygenated blood to the brain.

What form of daily exercise can we implement?  Research studies recommend that a daily  2 kilometer brisk walk over say 20 minutes is recognized as an ideal regular activity for better brain function. Doing such exercise over a period of at least 2 years, as indicated by the research study result, actually made the brain look younger. On the other hand, the older looking brain is the result of loss of brain cells at the rate of 50,000 cells a day made the brain shrivels down to look old, as shown to us by one the research study brain demonstrative pictures displayed on the screen.

Brain exercises, i.e. Cognitive exercises for individuals aged 65 years and plus.  A research study recommended one hour brain exercise, 5 days a week over a period of 2 months evidently provided better and faster processing function to, for instance, manage banking, shopping, etc, which may have a better lasting effect for up to 10 years of better brain activity.  Therefore, the risk of Dementia of the controlled testing group dropped to maintain more brain activity.

Social engagement-

A study of 1000 controlled group / individuals were followed over a controlled period indicated as 1990 – 1997 produced some remarkable results relative to human brain functions. It simply provided that regular social engagements results in a healthy brain function. Discussions, planning, follow up, etc in a social engagement set up evidently provide space and scope to reduce the risk of further brain cell loss. That in turn provides a positive impact to have an active brain rather than sitting on a couch all day and watch TV!

How do we accomplish that?

Simply, exercise supports the brain cell activity and neutrons which in turn make the brain healthy to function. Neuroplasticity is there to enrich the brain function(s) as explained above.

To conclude, it is important to note that better brain is as a result of good operating heart and lungs to transport oxygen to all parts of the body organs as well as to the brain in order to reduce the risk of rapid brain aging caused by the daily loss of brain cells. That happens when physical regular exercises become an essential part of our daily life schedule.

 

For comment, please write to: farook_aman@rogers.com.

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