Warren Willey

Warren Willey

Protecting your brain function should probably be near the top of your list of things to do to remain active and healthy as you age.

While muscle strength, flexibility, ability to get around and participate in activities are all vital, none of that matters if your brain doesn't work. The power of movement and activity of said body on brain health and function cannot be understated or underestimated.

In a recent study reported in JAMA Network Open, online May 17, behavioral interventions were once again shown to help mild cognitive impairment in older people. This particular study took 272 participants, with an average age of 75, who met the National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer's Association criteria for mild cognitive impairment. Study results showed that yoga activities greatly affected memory-related activities of daily living. They also showed that wellness education involving computerized cognitive training greatly improved mood and outlook on life.

As we really have no medication for memory loss, behavioral interventions such as these can help prevent mild cognitive impairment and spare brain function. While it's optimal to take care your brain from an early age, this study shows that it is really never too late to improve your memory and outlook on life by staying active, participating in behavioral intervention programs, watching what crosses your lips, and continually developing relationships with those around you. It's best to start early with this process so, no matter what your age, be very aware of your brain’s health and function. You only have one.

Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at drwilley.com.