The brain grows old at the age of 30. How do you keep your brain young?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently found that the “cortex” in the brain of long-lived people is twice as thick as that of ordinary people; the thicker the cortex, the slower the brain ages. Understanding the brain secrets of people who live longer can help us maintain health and prolong life, the researchers believe.

The brain grows old at the age of 30. How do you keep your brain young?

People who live longer have an innate advantage in their brains.

The study suggests that the cortex is like a crumpled newspaper, and that the size and thickness of the stretched brain determines brain volume. Cortical thickness indicates that higher neural functions such as cognition, comprehension, memory, judgment, calculation and language are good. Researchers tracked the thickness of the cortex for a year and a half in 24 longevity patients and 12 normal people. The researchers found that the cortex was thick, the brain was large, and aging had less effect on the brain. Among the subjects was Donald, an 89-year-old American with a relatively young brain because of his thick cortex and now able to surf the Internet and read books with as much energy as young people.

Earlier, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association pointed out that generally speaking, people’s brains begin to age at the age of 30, and after the age of 40, the metabolism of the human body gradually slows down, and the function of brain cells decreases, as well as physical strength, memory, and responsiveness. The brain shrinks at a rate of 15 per cent a year after the age of 60, when positioning and coordination are not as good as they used to be. But unlike the average elderly, a study of 840 long-lived families and offspring in the United States has found that older people may have a gene that can repair DNA errors and minor damage, helping them keep their brains young and healthy.

In addition to the genetic predominance of longevity, early childhood growth can also affect brain development and, consequently, longevity. Studies have shown that children in poverty-stricken areas tend to have small brain volumes, and aging has a more pronounced impact on them and a shorter life expectancy. Zhang Zhenxin, director of neurology at Peking Union Peace Hospital, told the Life Times that a study conducted by Peking Union Hospital found that people born between 1921 and 1954 were reunited in 2003. People who received good education, had good nutrition and living environment before the brain development was completed in childhood had good physical quality and less cognitive impairment in old age. A recent study in the United States also supports the idea that well-educated people have a thick, large cortex, a large body of knowledge, and are able to stay energetic for a long time and make old age life full of energy.

Five factors accelerate brain Aging.

Innate brain strengths or weaknesses can not be changed, but some life factors will accelerate brain aging, thus affecting the life expectancy of people, we should try to avoid.


Geng Tongchao, director of the Department of Neurology at Xianlin Drum Tower Hospital affiliated to Nanjing University Medical College, told reporters that diabetes can cause cerebral microvascular sclerosis, occlusion, increased blood viscosity, long-term ischemia and hypoxia in the brain, and aging faster than ordinary people. High blood pressure, atherosclerosis and so on will also accelerate the brain aging.


Geng Tongchao said that when smoking, nicotine in cigarettes can reach the brain within 10 seconds of inhalation and remain active for 2040 minutes. Nicotine can damage blood vessel walls, promote arteriosclerosis, reduce the supply of oxygen to the brain, and impair logical thinking. Accelerating brain aging. A study in the United States has shown that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, life expectancy is reduced by 2.3 hours.

Air pollution.

Geng Tongchao told the reporter that the brain is the organ that consumes the largest amount of oxygen throughout the body, consuming an average of 500 liters of oxygen per minute. Polluted air does not have enough oxygen to support brain work, but also contains nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other harmful substances, through breathing into the brain, resulting in memory loss or depression, accelerating cognitive decline in adults.


After overeating, the human body in order to digest too much food often to the digestive system to mobilize a lot of blood and energy, the brain’s energy supply become less, in an ischemic state, will damage brain cells.

I’m used to staying up late.

Zhang Zhenxin told reporters that irregular life affects the body’s normal biological clock and metabolism, brain function has been disrupted. Staying up late can make the brain in an exciting state, and delayed rest so that the brain can not be fully repaired, damage brain neurons. A joint British and French study has found that irregular breaks and frequent night shifts can impair the brain’s cognitive ability.

The brain is young, there’s a way.

Aging is a process that everyone has to go through. When you find that your sleep is poor and you get tired easily, it means that your brain has begun to age. It is time to slow down the aging process with a healthy lifestyle.

Pay attention to child nutrition.

Many countries have found that breast-feeding can promote children’s intellectual development. The Dietary guidelines for Chinese residents recommend that infants under the age of 6 months should be exclusively breastfed, and that infant formula is the only choice for infants who cannot be exclusively breast-fed. Infants aged 724 months should continue to breastfeed, but supplementary food can be added. It is necessary to start from the iron-rich muddy food and gradually add to reach food diversity; children and young people should develop good eating habits, not picky food, regular eating, drinking milk every day, adequate drinking water, but also regular outdoor sports.

Read a book every week.

Chang Chen-hsin points out that people with rich and versatile brains tend to have slow brain aging. The stimulation of reading and thinking to the brain can promote the enrichment of nerve synapses and slow down the aging process. People who often read books have a high cognitive reserve, the brain can play a buffer role when aging, slow down the pace of aging, so that the brain is more able to resist dementia and other diseases.

Exercise for 30 minutes twice a week.

Geng Tongchao told reporters that going out twice a week for 30 minutes of Taijiquan, brisk walking or other outdoor activities not only helps blood circulation in the brain, but also has a positive impact on controlling cholesterol and regulating blood pressure. But the old man exercises must act according to one’s ability, the body slightly perspires then. The sooner you exercise, the better. It’s not too late to start at any age. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that 45 minutes of continuous exercise a week improved brain power in people in their fifties.

Eat more antioxidants.

Geng Tongchao pointed out that delaying brain aging can effectively delay brain aging by taking more antioxidant foods rich in flavonoids or carotenoids, such as drinking tea in moderation and eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and so on. Many old people do not eat meat, egg yolk in order to prevent diseases, this is not right, meat contains cholesterol, which is conducive to the formation of myelin sheath of nerve cells; yolk contains a lot of choline, which is beneficial to supplement the nutrition needed by the brain.

Get enough sleep.

Many people stay up late and find their mental and physical strength drop the next day. Geng Tongchao said everyone should get enough sleep. The saying “get enough sleep for 7 hours” does not necessarily apply to everyone. Generally speaking, teenagers get enough sleep for 7 to 9 hours, pregnant women guarantee 8 to 9 hours, and children sleep 10 to 12 hours a day. Sleep time can be judged according to their own specific circumstances, as long as wake up with the feeling of lack of solution, physical comfort, is effective sleep.

Stay optimistic.

Zhang Zhenxin indicated that the happy mood can affect the body hormone level, the metabolism level becomes high, the cerebrum supplies the blood, the oxygen supply is sufficient. Sometimes we need to cultivate reverse thinking and look at things optimistically. For example, wrestling fractures, do not think about how unlucky they are, but think about just fractures, and did not lose valuable life.

Brain health is inseparable from general health, so cultivating a healthy lifestyle and paying attention to the formation of the above good habits is particularly important.

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