FOCUS ON INCREASING BRAINABILITY RATHER THAN ON DISABILITY AND DEMENTIA
The brain is affected by ageing like all other organs and ageing, in any tissue or organ has two effects. One is a loss of ability, for example even if Bradley Wiggins had continued to train he would not have been able to improve his world records because the maximum rate at which his heart could beat will decrease from about forty on. The second is loss of resilience, Roger Federer is still performing at the top but it takes longer for him to recover, and loss of resilience , the able to bounce back after an injury or a disease or a change in environmental temperature is reduced by the normal ageing process. The activities of the brain and the mind are usually classified as being either to do with emotion or cognition and it is the latter that is of greater concern because as what is called normal cognitive ageing occurs the brain loses capacity to carry out activities such as learning, problem solving, quick decision making and remembering
Of these remembering is most widely recognised and talked about and many people worry that memory slips are the early signs of dementia but memory slips are not a sign that dementia will inevitably develop
The more brain power you have to start off with, the greater the brain reserve or cognitive reserve and the better able are you to cope with challenges to the way your brain and mind work whether from normal ageing, for example increasing isolation resulting from a disabling physical disease, or even if you are unfortunate enough to develop dementia. The more brain or cognitive reserve, the experts use different phrases for the same thing you have the longer can you keep functioning without you or anyone else noticing.
Obviously it helps to start with a lot of brainability but, as with bone strength, at any age you can slow the downward decline and increase your reserves and your resilience at any age