Science usually studies what’s wrong, but this scientist studied what was right, with brains that is. God bless Emily Rogalski out of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She gives us hope!
Dr. Rogalski used imaging techniques to evaluate the part of the brain that indirectly tells us how healthy a brain is: the cortical thickness. The thicker the cortex, the more nerves live there. The more nerves we have, the better we can think, remember, and focus. The more nerves, the more agile and energetic our brains.
Looking inside the brains of 80-year-olds who, by testing, proved to have amazing memory and cognitive capabilities, Dr. Rogalski demonstrated that their cortical thicknesses were so robust, they were even thicker and “better” than many people 20 to 30 years younger.
Up till now, many issues and ailments have been thought to be absolutely inevitable side effects of aging. Thinning of the gray matter, fewer nerve cells in the cortex, have been thought to be plain unavoidable. This has led to lots of aging bias. If we are older, we must be dimmer and our brains more feeble. But this is not necessarily so, and, in fact, is not the case for some of us. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 2012
The real question becomes, what can we do to maintain healthy thicker cortexes? What can we do to avoid brain drain and keep brains sane?
- Keep waistlines thinner. Thicker bellies have been linked to shrinking brain mass.
- Robust exercise that gets your heart rate up to the healthy limit for your age range and health status, even for 30 second bursts, regularly, every day.
- Add lithium supplement to your daily anti-aging nutrient mix. The mineral lithium protects healthy brain thickness and it’s also been found to promote healthy bone density. Two, two, two thicker benefits in one. This is not the lithium carbonate meant to treat bipolar disease, this is nutraceutical low-dose lithium riding piggyback on either aspartate or orotate molecules.
Always work with a practitioner who knows how to direct you on the type of lithium and the best and safest dosage for you. Lithium has been shown in imaging studies to increase cortical thickness within only a matter of 4-5 weeks. These studies have been replicated, which is a hallmark of separating the gluten-free wheat from the gluten-full. Lithium orotate also has a calming effect, and lithium aspartate has a more energetic boosting effect, so these forms can be used accordingly. Dosages are usually 5 to 10 mg once or twice a day.