Do you ever walk into a room and forget why? Incredibly, there is an easy way to help jog your memory: try closing your eyes. Your brain is a mysterious organ that researchers are still working to better understand.
Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign that raises public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research, including research into the causes of Parkinson's disease and how to treat it. This year we wanted to provide you with 12 ways you can enhance your cognitive function, starting right now:
1. Keep Learning
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
People with Parkinson's should eat Mediterranean style, which may protect brain cells, slow degeneration and ensure a longer, healthier life. Introduce food high in Omega-3 to your diet to fight memory loss and improve concentration.
3. Take a Book with You
Reading is a complex task that requires multiple parts of the brain to work together. A complex book can improve memory and cause positive neurological changes that last even after you’ve stopped reading.
4. Stay Social
Staying social has been proven to help retain cognitive sharpness. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and smile, or make new friends at Parkinson’s groups. Get to know us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
5. Keep Calm and Fight On
Stress of any kind can make your PD symptoms temporarily worse. Meditating just 15 minutes a day can bring a sense of calm and the ability to see things more clearly.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Maintain a regular sleep schedule; get up and go to bed the same time every day.
7. Keep Track of Medications
Establishing a daily routine helps keep you on track with medications and exercise regiments. It can also help with sleep and digestion issues.
8. Increase Your Heart Rate and #Move4PD
Intense exercise can improve efficiency of your brain cells using dopamine and lessen PD symptoms. Show us how you #Move4PD by posting a photo on your social media accounts and use hashtag #Move4PD.
9. Give Your Brain a Workout
Creativity in everyday life provides excellent mental stimulation. Vary your activity to keep the mind strong and healthy. Draw, paint, or write your My PD Story.
10. Groove to the Music
Listening to music can improve memory. Singing and dancing to a song helps cognitive and physical functions. Research shows
that exercise, social stimulation and singing can help postpone PD symptoms.
11. Drink Caffeine
Several studies have shown that caffeine may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s. A cup a day may also help with motor symptoms, boosting memory and lowering the risk of depression.
12. Laugh Out Loud
Laughing stimulates different areas in the brain. Some studies show laughing can also improve short-term memory. Watching a funny movie or cat video is also a natural stress reducer.
Can't Get Enough?
If you would like to talk to a Parkinson’s specialist about Parkinson's disease or brain health, please contact the Parkinson's Foundation Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636) or firstname.lastname@example.org.