Can it be done? We (well most) will recognize that we reach a physical peak and then decline from there. Our lifestyle may determine the slope of said decline, but decline we must. In the paleo community I believe we all want that decline to be a shallow one....with a deep drop on the end :). Anyhow....what about your cognitive abilities. Are they like the body? Is it one in the same? Or is there a chance that you could accumulate enough knowledge to not only mitigate the ravages of time on your innate cognitive function, but to even overcome them!? Or can you improve cognitive function as you age to a degree unimaginable to your muscles and joints? The brain is not a muscle. Could you train it to improve far beyond physical development....even when some say it must diminish?
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Well I know bulletproof coffee has been done to death here, but I have to say the combination of caffeine, butter, and MCT oil really helps my 50 year old brain (that has been abused but not recently) to work more like it did when it was 20. I had been doing a 22 hour daily fast before BPC and was honestly struggling mentally. Adding BPC in the morning changed everything.
I'm a design engineer and creativity and concentration are very important. Concentration in particular was becoming more and more difficult as I got older. Its much better after the introduction of the BPC. I'm working on a project that involves updating some firmware somebody else wrote over 10 years ago. I thought it would have been very hard but I seem to be able to immerse myself in it for hours without break and make real progress.
I avoid carbs and protein until dinner. I eat about 90 gms starch in the evening meal (following PHD diet). My personal theory is I'm running my brain on glucose AND ketones and it likes it. I've monitored my blood glucose throughout the day and it runs a bit high around 105 but doesnt fluctuate much more than a few points either way.
Seems to be working - great energy and focus, no mood swings.
Look at Dr Wahls' research (on MS but she is looking at similar issues). Diets for dementia or to ensure you don't get it will be the next big thing in the US and UK. A paleo diet will be good for the brain as will continuing to use it. Being in sunshine regularly probably helps too.
I don't think knowledge woulld mporve cognitive functioning, it's a prodcut of cognitive functinoing (/pedant)
My intuition is that maintaining stimulation undoubtaedly helps in functioing but not sure whether it can prevent deterioration. Interesting question, I wish I had an answer! Scientists don't really know much about the brain (although they know way more than I do ;))
I thought this was intersting tidbit: "Studies show that the human brain is built to go for an amazing length of time," says Finch. Ten years from now, "we'll have a greater understanding of the long-term risk factors that have adverse effects on the brain. We'll know which people are more at risk earlier in their lives because of their genes. Knowing more about genes and the environment is not likely to yield a magic bullet, but each decade will nibble away at the adverse aspects of brain aging." http://www.usc.edu/hsc/info/pr/hmm/01spring/brain.html