Imagine that the brain is a wonderful muscle and full of potential, which needs to be exercised. The more we use it, the more resistant it becomes and the more it will keep fit in the face of time.
Our brain is a multidisciplinary and extremely flexible organ that captures all kinds of stimuli, and deals with all kinds of information.
This permanent activity allows it to remain active and strengthen, to maintain, despite the passage of time, good health to cope with various diseases, developing what is called the "cognitive reserve".
Here's how to maintain the best possible level of your cognitive reserve for your physical and mental health.
The cognitive reserve, protective of our brain
The cognitive reserve is the capacity that human beings possess to deal with the deterioration that can be suffered during certain diseases, including old age, or to exercise mental agility and the ability of cognitive processes like problem solving, memorization work, logical reasoning, imagination … etc.
There are clinical cases where, following the death of a person, at the time of the autopsy, one discovers that this one suffered from a precise brain disease, which, strangely, was not seen during his lifetime.
This demonstrates the ability and elasticity of our brain to find new connections to address a specific deficit.
For example, the case of people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but who are slow to show obvious signs of this disease thanks to their "cognitive reserve, these structures which develops beyond normal activity to help and strengthen cognitive abilities in the face of neuronal wear and terrible forgetfulness.
A certain predisposition but also the maintenance throughout one's life of a rich intellectual life, the interest for many subjects, and an open mind, active and curious, are habits that help us to have these new neuronal connections .
In turn, these neuronal connections create new paths, new structures with which, this incredible organ called brain, is renewed.
Succeed to develop a large cognitive reserve
The cognitive reserve is often associated with genetic and environmental factors, having a facilitating context that helps our cognitive abilities to develop, to find new stimuli, to be awakened by new interests and learning, to experiment, etc.
We could therefore say that the bases that determine the strength of a cognitive reserve are the following:
– Functional anatomical properties of the brain.
– The intellectual capacity, duration and quality of education received.
– The professional performance we have achieved in our life.
– Leisure activities, personal interests, our social relations …
The cognitive reserve is the result of a whole process that begins in the first stages of our life and continues throughout our existence. It is an ability that can and must be stimulated at every moment, for our own benefit.
Some keys could be to maintain a curious vision of life, ask questions, have a good circle of friends with whom we can discuss and exchange ideas, feel different emotions, imagine many things, undertake projects, and other activities such as music, painting, writing …
All of this helps us to strengthen our cognitive reserve, and helps to establish new neural connections.
By building these new structures, the brain strengthens and so it can cope with possible diseases in the future and help us live better our old age.