Thread by @Telegraph on Thread Reader App
3 minutes

The Telegraph Profile picture

🧠 Prolonged isolation during lockdown
Thread by @Telegraph on Thread Reader App
3 minutes

The Telegraph Profile picture

🧠 Prolonged isolation during lockdown had devastating effects on our brain health.

Social isolation has been robustly proven to hasten dementia and long-term cognitive decline.

Here’s how to reverse pandemic brain ageing 🧵👇

❌ Loneliness ages us as badly as 15 cigarettes a day, or drinking a bottle of gin, according to a study at University of California, Berkley.

A 12-year Harvard study found that the thinking skills of those who said they're “lonely” declined 20% more than those who were not

🧬 Only 25% of our ageing, both physical, and mental, is determined by our DNA. The other 75% is lifestyle and our environment.

We have a lot of choice over the latter, enabling us to rebuild our brain resilience and mitigate the effects of lockdown 🔻

🧠Prolonged daily sitting down is the enemy of brain health.

Aerobic exercise produces proteins which provoke the release of a protein called BDNF in the brain.

⚡️This generates new neurones, essentially rejuvenating the brain, a process that takes place until our 90s

Constantly varying bedtimes, unguarded excesses and irregular habits are also bad for brain health.

💤 Older people still need seven or eight hours of sleep, but you don’t need to do this all in one go.

Afternoon naps of no more than an hour are to be encouraged

The Harvard Adult Development Study found that those who had good-quality relationships were happier, healthier and had better brains in the long-term.

🗨️ Social connections are necessary as food or water

💞 Frequent sexual intercourse with a close partner can foster better memory, better verbal fluency and even better numeracy skills.

A study on male rats, put together with a receptive female, found that the number of new cells in the male rat’s brain increased massively

🥬 Three-quarters of all food in shops comes from 5 animals and 12 plants. Looking further afield is beneficial.

By increasing diversity, we resume the lifestyle of our hunter-gatherer ancestors and increase the chance that we ingest all the nutrients vital to brain health

👥Some people’s brains age faster than others mostly because of environment or lifestyle.

But these good habits can bring life-long benefits to brain health more