Preventing or slowing age-related cognitive decline

I took notes on Dr. Andrew Huberman’s AMA (ask me anything) — he’s the Stanford neurobiology and ophthalmology professor with a podcast on using science for many factors of well-being.

His AMAs only available to premium subscribers of the Huberman Lab Podcast. Yes, I really am that nerdy!

Dr. Huberman says that lifestyle factors can override a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease if started early enough.

He also mentioned that scientists are working on a method of early detection using visual screening.

By the way, a friend of mine defined aging as “continuing to live”. I love it.

Many of these tips are best started decades before the ages in which Alzheimer’s usually shows up, but are helpful at any age.

  1. Avoid environmental toxins: pesticides, toxins, heavy metals are neurotoxins. They damage your brain. That means eat organic food!
  2. Do not hit your head hard if at all possible. Give up risky behaviors, especially if you’ve already had one TBI.
  3. Get quality sleep at least 80 percent of the time. Deep sleep helps your brain clear toxins, and you can use sleep apps to measure this. Slightly elevating your feet seems to help. Seems to me this would work best for back sleepers, not side sleepers.
  4. Challenge yourself cognitively. It’s not just doing crosswords, it’s more like learning a new language, reading difficult material, learning new-to-you dance steps. If you don’t get frustrated, you’re not being challenged enough!
  5. Get 3 to 3.5 hours of Zone 2 cardiovascular exercise per week to increase blood flow to the brain. Zone 2 cardio includes walking, rowing, swimming, and working out on an elliptical or stationary bike.
  6. Do 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to release catecholamines for alertness, turning on neuroplasticity.
  7. Do 5-10 sets of resistance training to offset atrophy from aging.
  8. Your brain needs acetylcholine for focus and cognition. You can get it from food (eggs, especially) or take AlphaGPC in the morning, 300-900mg. Also: nicotine gum or patches — safe nicotine. Can ask your doctor.
  9. Eat a ketogenic diet. Also fasting.
  10. Take creatine monohydrate, 5 mg per day.

What if everybody only knew what we know about trauma?

Understanding Trauma | What a world if everybody only knew!.

Longtime readers know I’m a huge fan and grateful recipient of the trauma recovery work of Peter A. Levine. I’ve been exploring Beyond Trauma, the Somatic Experiencing blog. I just read the post linked to above and thought I’d share.

The post contains a link to a 30-minute podcast that inspires some great questions:

  • What if everybody knew that a fixated stress response (a.k.a. trauma) is the result of a disrupted neurophysiological process— a process that desires completion?
  • What if people knew that our sense of well-being can be recovered, even after surviving extreme events, as long as we receive proper support and facilitation (to complete those processes that were disrupted)?
  • What if everybody knew that this is not some arcane, exclusive field— that just about anyone can readily understand the most important aspects of stress and trauma?
  • What if everybody knew that tuning into our innate ability, as organisms, to respond and recover from trauma can significantly enhance our health and well-being?
  • What if we all knew that a change of perspective is taking place in the helping professions, one that places more emphasis on the critical role the body can play in easing distress?