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Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like your brain just isn’t functioning as fluidly as it usually does? And then that day turns into days and maybe even weeks or months? Perhaps you feel like you’ve lost your creative edge, and your productivity at work has dramatically reduced. Do you feel foggy, unfocused, forgetful, and fraught with the idea that maybe something is wrong with your brain? It sounds like you might be experiencing a form of cognitive decline. 

But before you jump to any conclusions—cognitive decline is not necessarily indicative of looming dementia—is important to:

  • Know the facts about brain health and normal aging
  • Learn the early signs of cognitive changes
  • Understand there are easy solutions to reduce risk factors of cognitive issues and improve cognitive wellness

What to Know About Healthy Brain Aging

With living comes aging—it is just a natural part of life. However, normal aging does not have to be associated with words like disease, dementia, debilitation, and decline. It is normal for areas like memory, attention, language recall, problem-solving, and processing speed to not remain as sharp or quick as they were in the earlier part of your life. The rate of slowing down cognitively with age depends on many different factors, such as nutrition, NAD+ deficiency, impaired sleep, lack of social connections, intellectual inactivity, mental health, and physical inactivity, to name a few. As you can see, these factors are all things that are within your control to influence.

The future (short-term and long-term) of your cognitive function will result from being proactive and preventative about your brain health. A major added benefit of a brain-healthy lifestyle is that what is good for the brain is good for your entire mind and body.

Signs of Cognitive Decline

There are several types and severities of cognitive decline: brain fog, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia, and subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Early stages of brain function decline can manifest as a wide range of slow-forming and subtle symptoms or persistent and very noticeable symptoms of brain changes. These signs can include but are not limited to chronic fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, memory loss, and mild confusion. Cognitive decline can affect all aspects of your daily life, from your career and relationships to your passions and overall health and happiness.

Recognizing potential early signs of cognitive decline will better equip you to take action and seek lifestyle changes and therapies that might improve your cognitive function and/or quality of life.

Symptoms of Brain Fog

Brain fog is a condition that causes your brain to feel foggy, hazy, sluggish, and scattered. It can make you feel like your ability to think, understand, remember, and concentrate is suboptimal. Brain fog affects both your professional and personal life. This form of cognitive dysfunction can also make you irritable, overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, and tired. Brain fog has been associated with Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic stress, and many other medical conditions. It is often a symptom of one or more underlying health conditions.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a cognitive impairment that is greater than expected for an individual’s age, education level, and development. MCI falls between cognitive decline associated with normal aging and a more serious cognitive dysfunction like dementia. Symptoms may include forgetting things more often, regularly losing your train of thought, feeling increasingly overwhelmed, and making more impulsive decisions and poor judgments. Unlike brain fog, MCI can affect your motor skills, social behavior, hygiene, learning abilities, sense of direction, and personality.

How Are MCI and Dementia Different?

The difference between MCI and dementia is that MCI doesn’t typically impair a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks and daily activities. It is important to understand that dementia is not a normal part of aging. Early signs of dementia may include difficulty following conversations with loved ones, becoming easily confused, becoming disoriented about time and familiar places, a noticeable change in thinking skills, and finding it hard to carry out familiar tasks.

Do You Have Subjective Cognitive Decline?

Subjective cognitive decline (SCD) is “a self-reported experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss,” according to the Center for Disease Control. It is one of the earliest warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia and is more common in older adults. SCD can significantly impact individuals’ ability to care for themselves, including eating properly, personal hygiene, completing chores, paying bills, and staying safe.  

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Take Control of Your Brain Health

Improving your cognitive health is all about healthy lifestyle choices and recognizing that brain health and whole health are interconnected. The choices we make every day directly affect our comprehensive well-being from top to bottom or from your brain to your tippy toes. 

While we can’t control everything (aging and genetics do play a role), we can control a lot, especially the decisions we make on a daily basis like diet, exercise, sleep, and screentime. We can also further support our brains through natural therapies like NAD+ Brain Restoration Plus therapy, which works by supplying the brain with what it needs to return to a state of optimal functioning, and brain supplements like Nadovim.

Bonus: Continual learning is a great way to keep your brain sharp. And utilizing the resources provided in this article will help you further your education and set you in the right direction toward improving your cognitive health.

Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.

At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.

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Meet the Author

Jenn Parker

Originally from Florida, and after ten years of thriving in Costa Rica, Jenn Parker now lives on a small tropical island on the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. She is an avid surfer, nature photographer, environmental conservationist, traveler, yogi, and self-educated nutritionist and wellness advocate. She has long adhered to a plant-based diet, and full-heartedly believes in the power of nutrition. She has been working full-time as a professional wellness, travel, and lifestyle writer since the start of 2015. Passionate about sharing what she has learned along her journey and through extensive reading and research, she hopes to inspire others to lead a more mindful, environmentally conscious, happy, fulfilled, and healthy lifestyle.
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