The Huffington Post:
More than 30 countries now have a life expectancy of 80 or more, a dramatic increase over the last half century. This is good news, but it also brings challenges. The aging brain goes through predictable changes, and as a result, old age is usually accompanied by some cognitive decline, even dementia.
Happily, some of the risk factors for mental aging are open to intervention. Diet, exercise and mental activity all play a role in healthy aging, but there are also natural pharmaceuticals that may be of use in staving off decline. Psychological scientists Con Stough and Matthew Pase of Swinburne University of Technology, in Australia, have been studying various pharmacological interventions, and recently put together a status report on their effectiveness in preserving abilities like memory and reasoning. Here’s what’s known so far:
Ginkgo biloba. Scientists have extensively investigated this natural supplement, taken from the Ginkgo biloba tree. One extract, known as EGb 761, is of special interest, because it acts in several ways that may be relevant to mental aging. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also improves blood flow, glucose metabolism and synapse function.
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