50 Shades of Brain Fog

Firstly, before beginning my blog I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.

With the Christmas and New Year period now over, many are returning to their normal routine of work activities having, during the festive break, enjoyed rich food and more alcohol than perhaps a normal week, along with less activity and fresh air perhaps; days tend to roll into one another, a little like normality for many of us following stroke!

Joking aside, in general we all tend to feel more sluggish and tired after such large heavy and rich meals.

You often hear people talk of their New Year’s resolutions in January which include different diets they may try. How about viewing things slightly differently and just moderating things slightly and making it become normality? Just a suggestion.

There is mounting evidence suggesting the Mediterranean diet helps support brain volume in elderly adults. Such a diet consists mainly of large amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, olive oil but with just moderate amounts of dairy products, fish & wine and limited amounts of red meat.

Research from randomised trials suggest that such a diet reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, along with contributing to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Some studies suggest such a diet can help keep mental and physical health well into old age along with reducing our risk of premature death.

New research published in the ‘Neurology’, which is the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology looks specificity at such a diet on brain health in elderly patients.  Researchers led by Michelle Luciano, Ph D from the University of Edinburgh looked at its effects on total brain volume, gray matter volume and the thickness of the cortex.

With age the human brain shrinks and more and more of its cells die. This is what may cause difficulty in memory and learning. Findings over a three-year study found 0.5 percent of total brain volume change because of such a diet.

To put this into perspective, this amount is half the amount of what is considered the normal decrease due to our natural ageing process.

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