Originally Published on DavidBardsley.com
Written by Dr. David Bardsley, Author, founder of Silver Eagle Media and TEC Canada Speaker
The latest scientific evidence shows that we can improve our cognitive ability at any stage of life, whether we are 6, 66 or 106.
Many think that a decline in cognitive ability is a natural and inevitable part of the aging process. This is simply not true. Science has shown there should be no decline in our intellectual ability until we are well into our 70’s or 80’s and even then it is not inevitable.
Two things are necessary to increase our intelligence, at any age and reverse any signs of mild cognitive impairment: Increase the Number of Neurons & Increase and Balance the Neurotransmitters.
Increase the Number of Neurons [brain cells]. Humans have more than 100 billion neurons and each brain cell has up to 10,000 connections with other neurons. [you do the math] Unfortunately, we lose between 70 and 90 thousand a day. That is about one every second.
If you were educated more than 10 years ago, you were taught that we grow new cells [skin, bone, intestinal, etc.] daily but not brain cells, when a brain cell dies, it is gone forever. In 1998, at the University of California San Diego, that age-old theory was proven to be completely false. Even if we do nothing we grow new neurons [neurogenesis] every day; the problem is we lose more than we grow. The good news is that our brain contains millions of dormant stem cells that for whatever reason have been sitting there since birth and never fulfilled their genetic potential and grew into a new neuron. Animal experimentation has resulted in the discovery of a “brain fertilizer.” It is a polypeptide called BDNF [Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor] When the BDNF comes into contact with the dormant stem cells, it initiates the growth process and the stem cells fulfill their genetic potential and develop into new neurons.[neurogenesis]. More neurons mean better cognitive ability; regardless of age.
Increase and Balance the Neurotransmitters. These are chemicals produced by the brain itself which facilitate the transfer of the electrical stimulus from one brain cell to another. They are largely responsible for our brain processing speed and determine our mood, feelings, and temperament.
There are 60 known neurotransmitters. There may be many more. We have pharmaceuticals that will increase some of these neurotransmitters if a person is believed to be deficient. Even if we had a separate drug to increase each of the 60 neurotransmitters what would you do? Take 60 pills a day? Which ones would you take in the morning, which ones would you take at night? How much of each would you take? The balance of these neurotransmitters and not the absolute quantity is what is important. Sometimes we need less of the neurotransmitter, not more.
Study after study has repeatedly shown there is only one known modality that will stimulate the growth of new neurons and balance all 60 of the known neurotransmitters. It is not a drug or medical treatment. It is — Vigorous Physical Activity. Not just any amount or type of physical activity but a degree of intensity that reaches a specific threshold.