Do you remember when we played games all day long?
Getting smarter. When we were in school, we exercised our little brains, growing our intelligence without trying.
Then we graduated from College and Graduate school.
Now we watch our older friends and family forgetting words, afraid to figure out tips, (give too much or too little.) They were the smartest.
What happened? Stroke? Chemicals? Does it matter? As individuals, we need to help ourselves. Doctors can help some, but we need to take personal responsibility to make ourselves better. Heal our brains. Will ourselves to improve. Have you heard of Neuroplasticity?
Why do I know this? 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with M.S. I was full of problems, from falling, twisting my ankles, memory issues, and stuttering. It seemed that I was always forgetting something at the grocery store, especially my wallet. I was afraid to go to the supermarket. My grandmother lived until she was 98. At 40 years old I had lots of years ahead of me. Other people have thrived after far worse diagnoses than mine. I made up my mind. I decided I could learn to be more careful crossing the pavement. Changing my job and my stress levels was a necessity. I learned about how to be smart and independent.
What can be done to affect brain functions?
Recent research shows that our brain can continue to help us, even after a stroke. First, how does the brain learn? It makes connections to various parts of the brain. Let’s say the numerical order is right here and motor skills are here. Obviously, this is over simplified.
When counting and walking, we need both parts to count our steps as we do them. We have always imagined that our brains worked in straight lines. But studies indicate it is a pathway in curves. After a brain injury, illness, or stroke, brains make new connections, a new way to connect from here to there. Stroke patients need to reconnect motor skills to relearn walking. A brain injury patient needs to redirect connections to function as children do. It’s possible to relearn old skills by using new connections.
A doctor telling his patients “you will never walk again” because of a stroke or injury, may not be the most helpful treatment. We should all try to improve to the best of our ability, so you never know about having to be carried up the stairs.
What to do….
What are four key elements of a good brain booster?
Learn something new
A skill you can build on
I think can think of two ways to improve brain function: music, playing piano regularly or singing in a choir, and joining a Toastmaster’s club and participate. As we age, it is important to learn skills to develop neuroplasticity.
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