Obsolete Medical “Fact” About Aging Brains Shrinking is Wrong

Doug’s take on this: Our brains are built to stay healthy longer than presently believed by most people.

My personal research has backed this up and I have found that other recent studies show substantial improvement in cognitive function coming from a particular type of nutrient called polysaccharides or long chain polysaccharides. These are found in organically grown, vine ripe fruits and vegetables, larch, arabinogalactin, barks, gums, and fresh or stabilized aloe vera gel. While these are not even available in most grocery stores or even health food stores, I found a great source of concentrated polysaccharides and precursors of bioactive monosaccharides which I have been adding to my diet now for 6 years. I have noticed improved memory, greater discrimination in my vision and my hearing. As a piano and pipe organ tuner the improvement in my hearing discrimination has been remarkable. I have always had exceptional hearing and have never had any hearing problems. The only way I can describe it is I now hear more–in what I hear. The time it takes me to tune any instrument has been shortened greatly and the quality of my tuning has improved. A link to my supply of concentrated daily supplementation of polysaccharides I add to my diet is found at the end of this blog post.

The following is a Paraphrase from a Natural News feature by S. L. Baker

As people age, the chance of age related brain fog rises. The most dreaded form of this memory robbing condition is already the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. The incidence of age related brain decline is expected to soar as the huge Baby Boomer generation ages. According to the National Institute on Aging, as age related brain fog progresses, the brain shrinks. So it is not a comforting thought to know that science has long stated normally aging brains shrink as we grow older, even if you don’t have brain decline. Having a brain that is going to atrophy with the passing years seems to indicate that some mental decline must be inevitable, right?

Well, guess what? That “fact” is looking more and more like another example of an obsolete, bogus belief ingrained in the medical establishment that is not backed up by solid evidence.

According to new research just published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Neuropsychology, the studies that supposedly proved even healthy older brains are substantially smaller than younger brains did not screen out people who had undetected, slowly developing brain diseases that were killing off brain cells and shrinking gray matter. Bottom line: researchers overestimated atrophy in the brains of older adults and underestimated the normal size of older, healthy brains.

The new study tested participants in Holland’s long-term Maastricht Aging Study who did not suffer from any neurological problems. Research subjects shown to be healthy then took neuropsychological tests, including a screening test for brain diseases, at baseline and then every three years for the next nine years. After three years, study participants were also given MRI scans to document measurements of seven different parts of their brains, including the hippocampus (an area important for forming and holding on to memories) and the frontal and cingulate areas of the critical cortex which are important for cognitive skills.

The study participants, who were all around 69 years old when the study started, were placed into two groups. One was comprised of 35 cognitively healthy people who stayed free of diagnosable brain disease throughout the time of the study and the other group was made up of 30 people who showed substantial cognitive decline as the study progressed, although they were not officially diagnosed with disease. In contrast to the 35 people who stayed healthy, the 30 people whose cognitive health went into decline over the nine years showed significant changes in their brains. That means the brain shrinkage that previously would have been chalked up to aging was much more likely to reflect some pathology going on the brain — not the passing of years.

In fact, the authors of the study concluded that as long as people stay cognitively healthy, the gray matter supporting cognition might not shrink much at all. “If future longitudinal studies find similar results, our conception of ‘normal’ brain aging may become more optimistic,” lead author Saartje Burgmans, a PhD candidate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said in a statement to the media.

While there is at present no cure for many brain diseases, natural health strategies have been shown to help lower the risk of age related brain fog. For example, the National Institute on Aging web site states research suggests a nutritious diet, exercise, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and age related brain fog.

Moreover, scientists are investigating associations between cognitive decline and heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Age related declining health conditions can often be put off by building up the general level of health through natural methods using exercise, diet, lessening of toxic load, stress reduction (including meditation and yoga), and certain nutrients may prevent brain decline and keep brain function healthy as the years pass.


“The Prevalence of Cortical Gray Matter Atrophy May Be Overestimated In the Healthy Aging Brain,” Saartje Burgmans, PhD student, Martin P. J. van Boxtel, PhD, MD, Eric F. P. M. Vuurman, PhD, Floortje Smeets, PhD student, and Ed H. B. M. Gronenschild, PhD, Maastricht University; Harry B. M. Uylings, PhD, Maastricht University and VU University Medical Center Amsterdam; and Jelle Jolles, PhD, Maastricht University; Neuropsychology, Vol. 23, No. 5.

Doug’s personal source of concentrated polysaccharide supplementation:


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