Here’s what goes through your mind from the age of 50 – Ouest-France evening edition

Years pass and we all grow old. In addition to the physiological effects of time, researchers have determined how cognitive abilities are affected starting in middle age. And how we can limit its effects. Explanations.

The figure of 50 years is crucial. From this age, cognitive skills decline and some of our faculties such as concentration, reasoning, and understanding decline. This has been revealed in an interview published in the British media HuffPost UKand relayed by the French magazine MoldDr. Dylan Wint, a neurologist and neuropsychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States, and Dr. Dale Bredesen, a neuroscience researcher at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute, also in the United States.

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Cognitive regression

Chronic pain, sickness, dizziness… if our body is tired, so is our mind. According to Dr. Dylan Wint, from the age of 50, “The cortex, the outer layer of the brain, becomes thinner, the myelin sheath around the nerve fibers may begin to disintegrate, and the receptors no longer fire as quickly.”.

This results in memory loss, difficulty remembering names or dates, reduced processing speed and skills that allow a person to orient themselves in space, which deteriorate. However, the doctor also wants to reassure: “Most people are still very sharp in their 50s! », he notes. In fact, these cognitive changes can and do occur gradually “Continue in the Decades to Come”.

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While entering the sixties, “Brain shrinkage becomes more visible. Although you retain accumulated knowledge throughout your life, your brain becomes less efficient at accessing and adding to this knowledge.That makes it clear.

Hormonal changes

Menopause in women and andropause in men… For scientist Dale Bredesen, hormonal changes in this age group may be factors in this brain decline. This can happen “Because of the sudden drop in hormones, such as the drop in estradiol associated with menopause. People also often see more fat accumulation in their 50s, which is associated with cognitive decline..

How to slow down the phenomenon?

The brain’s natural shrinkage with aging is inevitable, but both doctors say a healthy lifestyle can make a difference.

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So scientists recommend keeping your blood pressure and weight at a healthy level, taking your medications properly, taking care of your sleep quality, reducing salt and sugar, and staying active, positive and socially connected. “Regular, moderate aerobic exercise reduces the risk of cognitive decline. Staying connected is also important as we age, because a rich social network provides support, reduces stress, combats depression, and increases intellectual stimulation. »

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