A new study has found that stimulating the right cerebellum can lead to improvements in episodic memory in healthy elderly individuals.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers from universities in Portugal, Brazil, the US, and Iran, delivered a 12-day neurostimulation program to 56 healthy elderly individuals aged 60 years old or over.
The results showed improvements in episodic memory performance at the end of the 12-day program and also at a 4-month follow-up.
Episodic memory refers to the ability to remember personal past events, and it is known to decline with age.
Understanding the relationship between aging and episodic memory deficits has been an important goal of neuroscience research.
With the steady increase in average life expectancy, it is becoming increasingly important to develop interventions to mitigate age-related declines in memory.
The cerebellum is a region of the brain located at the back of the brainstem. In the past, it was considered exclusively as the basis of motor coordination, controlling our balance and posture.
However, recent studies have shown that this brain region also influences cognitive and emotional processes.
The study published in GeroScience demonstrated that the cerebellum is causally involved in episodic memory during aging.
The researchers delivered the neurostimulation program to the right cerebellum, one of the neuronal regions causally involved in episodic memory during aging.
The results demonstrated the causal relevance of the cerebellum in processes associated with long-term episodic memory.
The results of this study could be significant for aging individuals who are looking for ways to maintain their cognitive function.
The findings could lead to the development of non-pharmacological interventions that could help ameliorate typical age-related cognitive frailty.
By stimulating the right cerebellum, individuals could potentially see improvements in their long-term episodic memory, which could have a positive impact on their quality of life.
How to improve memory function when you get older
As we age, it is natural to experience some decline in memory function. However, there are several steps you can take to improve and maintain your memory function as you get older.
Exercise regularly: Regular physical exercise has been shown to improve memory function in older adults. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve cognitive function.
Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help improve memory function. Certain foods, such as blueberries and nuts, have been shown to have memory-boosting properties.
Stay mentally active: Keeping your mind active with activities such as reading, puzzles, and social interaction can help improve memory function. Engaging in new activities and learning new skills can also help keep your brain sharp.
Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for memory consolidation, and lack of sleep can impair memory function. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Manage stress: High levels of stress can impair memory function. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation or deep breathing to help manage stress.
Limit alcohol intake: Heavy alcohol consumption has been shown to impair memory function. Limit your alcohol intake to improve memory function.
Manage chronic conditions: Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can impair memory function. Managing these conditions through lifestyle changes and medications can help improve memory function.
Consider cognitive training: Cognitive training programs, such as computer-based brain training games, have been shown to improve memory function in older adults.
In conclusion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, mental stimulation, and adequate sleep can help improve memory function as you get older.
Managing stress, limiting alcohol intake, managing chronic conditions, and considering cognitive training can also help improve memory function.
If you care about brain health, please read studies about supplements that may benefit memory functions in older people, and cranberries could help improve memory function.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about how to clear toxic brain waste linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and results showing scientists find new clues to healthy brain aging.
The study was conducted by Jorge Almeida et al and published in GeroScience.
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