Thanks to science, the average human lifespan has doubled since 1900 and we are staying stronger and more active later in our lives. The brain, as with all our organs, is affected by the natural process of ageing. Over the life span there are inevitable changes in both its physical structures and the speed in which it can carry out its vital functions, such as decision-making, problem solving and recall.
Cognitive ageing is a lifelong and gradual process, and the path of decline is highly variable and unique to each of us. It is well established that we can influence our own cognitive resilience. The degree to which our cognitive functions change through life are in part attributable to an individual’s experiences, education, exposure to life stressors and environmental toxins, health status, emotional challenges and lifestyle choices.
Healthy cognitive ageing is the preservation of our cognitive abilities. We all aspire to having a high quality of life as we age. Maintaining optimal brain function and keeping our brain healthy is a major contributor to our independence and wellbeing as we get older. It allows us to keep learning new things, make positive choices and stay in control of our thinking and our preferences. There is a huge amount of research into cognitive ageing, its causes, and most importantly effective measures we can take at any age to support our brain’s resilience and reduce the rate in which these cognitive changes may take place.