In the Mind centers of applied neuropsychology, memory and other cognitive activities are exercised, combining psychomotor skills and physical exercise
Neurological diseases associated with age have two factors in common: The first is inactivity (sedentary life): it is the main cause. Both physically and intellectually, since in the human body, everything that is not exercised atrophies, it doesn’t matter whether it is a muscle or the brain. The second factor is the circulatory problems that tend to decompensate the deterioration of age. In fact, even if the person has a neuronal degeneration such as Alzheimer’s disease, if it is not associated with poor circulation there will be no dementia or it will be very late.
According to these two premises, if you want to age healthy you have to be physically and cognitively active (keep your body and mind activated) and prevent vascular risk factors, which is as easy as controlling blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and obesity (diet Mediterranean).
Fundación Mente, for 20 years, has been promoting applied neuropsychology centers where memory and other cognitive activities are exercised, combining psychomotor skills and physical exercise. As medical centers, they promote strict control of vascular risk factors in each of the participants. Thus, true mental gyms have been created with the increasingly shared idea of preventing the epidemic of the 21st century: dementia. In line with the socio-health authorities, the objective is to delay the effects of age, preventing dependency, being better and more profitable than treating it when it is already in place (Law of Dependency). Neurologists currently have a very limited arsenal of drugs to treat memory problems. Thus,
This treatment directed by neuropsychologists and well individualized (even if done in a group) achieves results very similar to antidementia drugs, without side effects. Multicenter studies confirm that the combination of both treatments will be, whenever possible, the best option. Cognitive stimulation is based on brain neuroplasticity and cognitive reserve. It aims through various activities to compensate the capacities that are lost due to age, illness, or disuse (neuroplasticity) and to maintain the existing mental capacities (cognitive reserve) to prevent dementia and its consequent dependence. Its proven efficacy in multiple studies is associated with facilitating socialization (activities are done in groups), self-esteem, and, in general, the quality of life of the patient and his family. In recent times, it has been shown that physical exercise, in addition to being a preventive of vascular diseases, improves memory very effectively (there are even studies that show that they would delay the effects of Alzheimer’s dementia for up to 10 years). The Mind centers combine cognitive stimulation with physical stimulation, in a comprehensive way, assisted by gym teachers and physiotherapists.
3 Things you can do
At Fundación Mente, they are aware that not all the elderly population will have access to mental gyms or memory workshops; Therefore, they insist on doing at least 3 things that today everyone can do:
1. Control vascular risk factors TA, cholesterol, sugar, and Mediterranean diet (with visits to the family doctor and an analysis every 6 months is enough).
2. Maintain daily physical activity (the famous 10,000 steps of the mobile) or 5 km of daily walk, are essential more than ever in the third age both to improve physically and to maintain memory.
3. Finally, depending on personal tastes, maintain mental activity by reading books, computer games, board games (chess, etc.) and searching the Internet for an exercise program