When thinking about brain health, most people focus on conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. But the truth is that the risk of neurodegenerative diseases should not be the only reason to take care of our brain throughout our lives.
As we age, our brains age with us, leading to effects such as erratic memory and reduced brain mass. However, there are ways to help keep the brain “fit” for longer and slow down its inevitable aging.
In this sense, there are also some key factors that influence brain health throughout life, related to cardiovascular health. There is strong evidence that brain health and cardiovascular health are closely related, so damage to the heart and vascular system can negatively affect the brain.
Thus, in 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) produced a guide in which it mentioned seven key factors to take into account when it comes to cardiovascular health: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, level of exercise, diet, body weight and smoking status.
In addition, according to this entity, hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, a sedentary lifestyle, poor living, a high body mass index and smoking put cardiovascular health at risk. However, there is good news: all of these factors are environmental, so people can take steps to modify them.
Now, in a new scientific statement, the AHA once again reiterates the importance of these seven factors in maintaining the health of not only the cardiovascular system, but also the brain. It also provides guidelines for primary care physicians, instructing them on what to consider when advising their patients on how to maintain or improve their brain health.
In addition to this strategy, called Life’s Simple 7, the authors of this statement also argued that six other factors are crucial when it comes to brain health and influence cognitive ability over time: depression, social isolation, alcohol consumption, sleep disorders, insufficient education, and hearing loss.
The truth is that efforts and interventions aimed at maintaining brain health are very important, since cognitive decline can have a strong negative effect on a person’s quality of life. Therefore, it is essential that we have good brain health, since it is one of the most crucial aspects of the integrity and well-being of the conscious individual