Traumatic Brain Injury - What Can I Do To Help Myself
Everyone suffering a traumatic brain injury should get the proper diagnosis and treatment by competent experts in the field including a neurologist, neuropsychologist and the proper cognitive therapy. Once this is being done, there are many things that the traumatic brain injury victim can do to help himself or herself.
The following are some suggestions in helping with traumatic brain injury:
- Regular Exercise - Subject to injuries and restrictions, studies have shown that regular exercise releases brain chemicals for memory, concentration and mental sharpness. Regular exercise has been shown to prevent cognitive decline or to recover memory function that has been lost. Regular exercise helps maintain healthy blood pressure, helps maintain weight, improves energy, lifts mood and lowers stress and anxiety. Regular exercise also stimulates brain regions that are involved in memory function to release a chemical called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF rewires memory circuits so they work better and it is produced by the brain with regular exercise.
- Nutrition - Eating properly and getting the correct nutrition not only fuels your body but it also fuels your brain. A diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, "healthy" fats (such as olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits, but also can improve memory. For brain health, it is not just what you eat, it is also what you don't eat. Following nutritional tips will help boost your brain power and reduce your risk of dementia:
- Omega-3s - DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain and retina. DHA deficiency is associated with cognitive decline. DHA levels are reduced in the brain tissue of severely depressed patients. DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is important for brain function and can improve cognition. Fish is a particularly rich source of omega-3 (DHA). Other omega-3 sources such as walnuts, flaxseed, winter squash, kidney and pinto beans, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds and soy beans.
- Limit Calories and Saturated Fat - Diets high in saturated fat (from red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream and ice cream) increase the risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory.
- Fruit and Vegetables - Fresh produce is packed with antioxidants and protects brain cells from damage.
- Sleep - One's ability to remember increases when the brain is nurtured with sufficient sleep. When you're deprived of sleep your brain cannot operate at full capacity.
- Stress - Stress is one of the brains worst enemies and chronic stress can destroy brain cells and damage areas of the brain.
- Give Your Brain a Workout - Increased brain activity gives your brain a workout that can improve cognition. There are many different games and exercises that are available to give your brain exercise. This stimulation helps your brain to continue to develop and helps cognition. The following websites contain information regarding brain exercises: