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Protein in Umbilical Cord Blood May Restore the Aging Brain

Researchers at Stanford University were able to improve the cognitive performance of aging mice through injections of human umbilical cord blood. According to Medical News Today, this groundbreaking study may hold the key to fighting age-related mental decline.

A fast aging population, sedentary lifestyles and environmental toxins have conspired to make cognitive decline a serious issue. Scientists are struggling to come to grips with this monumental challenge and, although promising, it remains to be seen if this study will have widespread application.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your brain as you age. Your brain is capable of rejuvenating and regenerating itself throughout your life. This information is completely contrary to what was known when I was in medical school in the '70s.

At that time, it was believed that once neurons die, nothing could be done about it. Hence, deterioration and progressive memory decline was considered a more or less inevitable part of aging. Today, we know there's nothing "inevitable" about age-related cognitive decline at all.

Exercise also helps preserve gray and white matter in your frontal, temporal and parietal cortexes, which also helps prevent cognitive deterioration. Perhaps most exciting of all, brain shrinkage can be quelled even if you start exercising later in life. One study found that seniors who engaged in the most physical exercise showed the least amount of brain shrinkage over a follow-up period of three years.

The type of exercise program that will benefit your brain is identical to the one that will benefit the rest of your body, starting with non-exercise movements like standing and walking. Keep in mind that there are many muscle-strengthening exercises you can do without having to switch out of your work clothes. You can easily learn how to pull off a perfect squat right by your desk, or do a few walking lunges when moving from room to room for example.
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