Brain Awareness: Use it or Lose it

The brain’s capacity is enormous, yet many scientists suggest that we only use a small percentage of our brain. What are you doing to maximize your brain’s potential?


Your brain helps you analyze sensory data, remember information, learn new information, create thoughts and make decisions.

It is divided into halves called cerebral hemispheres and each hemisphere is further divided into four lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. Each lobe has its own responsibilities. The frontal lobe is responsible for cognition and memory. The parietal lobe processes sensations related to touch. Visual perception is controlled by the occipital lobe. The temporal lobe is responsible for auditory senses.

The brain, like many other organs, ages. The aging brain is responsible for a decline in memory, decision-making ability and verbal skills.


While a slow decline may be considered normal, a sharp decrease in function or a sudden appearance of symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition like Alzheimer’s Disease. Symptoms may include:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily lifealzheimers brain
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar task at home, work, or at leisure
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. New problems with words when speaking and writing
  6. Misplacing things & losing the ability to retrace steps
  7. Decreased or poor judgment
  8. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  9. Changes in mood or personality
  10. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships that create difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving


There are many ways that you can delay the aging of your brain:

  • Exercise your mind—Challenge your brain daily by making note of last week’s activities, working on crossword puzzles, trying a new hobby or reading more books.
  • Exercise your body—Physical exercise reduces depression and other cardiovascular risks. It also produces a euphoric state by releasing endorphins.
  • Eat healthy—Eating foods low in cholesterol and saturated fats, in addition to eating breakfast daily, can jump-start your brain. Also, protect your brain with antioxidant vitamins E and C.
  • Focus on safety—Wear protective head gear when enjoying physical activities like riding a bike or snowboarding. Wear a seat belt to protect your head from trauma in case of a car accident.
  • Get plenty of sleep—Lack of sleep leads to mental fatigue and loss of memory. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Reduce stress—Stress can lead to memory loss. High stress releases cortisol in the brain, which absorbs the brain’s primary food source, glucose. Reduce stress with exercise, meditation or a quiet activity you enjoy.
  • Quit smoking and refrain from illegal drug use—Research shows that smoking can lead to mental decline; drugs such as ecstasy and marijuana can result in mental deterioration.
  • Listen to music—Research shows that music is good for the brain, specifically baroque music, which can reduce stress.

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Go to for more information on how you can help raise awareness. Talk to your doctor if you think you are experiencing symptoms. If you need assistance locating a doctor, contact the Care Coordinator team at (888) 803-0081.