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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Depression and your Brain

You are only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
– Robin Williams

A research study conducted by Kaiser Permanente, the National Institutes of Health, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in Northern California took a look at depression and the aging brain. This article was found in the May 8, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal. This study was attempting to take a look at depression and determine whether it might cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease or was it simply an early sign of memory loss and other problems associated with dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia; the second leading cause is impaired blood supply to the brain, resulting in what is known as vascular dementia. According to the investigators, depression, late in life can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. The researcher added that there is a lot of debate as to whether depression is really a risk factor for dementia or if it just shows up. In this particular study, 13,535, 40 to 55-year-olds long-term Kaiser Permanente members were followed from 1964 to 1973. Their findings in this study suggested that there is evidence that late life depression is likely an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease and further chronic depression appears to raise or increase the risk of developing vascular dementia. They believe that an adequate treatment for depression in middle life could cut the risk of developing dementia.
Of course there are other factors that elevate the dementia risk and they include: 1. People with more belly fat in middle-age had higher rates of dementia when they reached old age 2. People who smoked in middle-age had an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later on, 3. People with high cholesterol in middle-age had an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in old age.
First, from my experience, depression can be treated effectively with or without psychotropic medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one such method that helps an individual examine how one’s thinking might contribute significantly to a depressive mood. It is clear that many individuals get into trouble by some of the irrational notions they hold, as well as a defense mechanisms that they employ. Therapy can counter irrational notions as well as defense mechanisms. A few of the symptoms of depression include: 1. Poor appetite, or significant weight loss or increased appetite or significant weight gain. 2. Insomnia or hypersomnia. 3. Loss of interest in usual activities or decrease in sexual drive. 4. Loss of energy and fatigue. 5. Diminished ability to think or concentrate as well as indecisiveness.
Second, aside from psychotherapy, exercise as well as eating properly, can contribute to combating a depressed mood. For me, I waited or got serious with exercise at age 57. Almost 20 years later, I am pleased with my life. I cannot give all the credit to exercise. However, there are many advantages for exercise. Currently, I continue to run and work out daily (range from 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours). So I practice what I preach, and I walk the walk.

 And, I recommend to keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating for a more fulfilling life. By the way, my new book, “Bo’s Warriors” published by Triumph Books can be pre-ordered at Barnes & Noble. This book profiles Michigan football, with Bo Schembechler as the Wolverines head coach. Check out my other blog “ Bo’s Warriors” regarding Michigan football.


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