Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Wha’s the Secret of SuperAgers?

At 89, Donald Tenbrunsel is a bit of a phenomenon. He surfs the internet with ease, happily converses on a broad range of timely topics, volunteers and reads regularly.

Known as a “SuperAger,” Tenbrunsel was part of a study that helped researchers discover what factors might set these super-sharp seniors apart from their peers.

The secret? Brain scans showed they experience brain aging twice as slowly as average folks their age.

“This suggests the SuperAgers are on a different trajectory of aging,” said senior researcher Emily Rogalski. She is director of neuroimaging for Northwestern University’s Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “They’re losing their brain volume at a much slower rate than average agers.”

For the study, Rogalski and her colleagues measured brain aging by examining the thickness of each person’s cortex — the outer layer of folded gray matter in the brain.

The cortex is where consciousness lies, and where all of the neurons that fire thoughts and movements are located. It is a critical part of the brain for higher-level thinking, memory, planning and problem-solving, Rogalski said.

Another neurologist explained it this way:

“That is essentially our brain,” said Dr. Paul Wright, chair of neurology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “Brain shrinkage occurs in the natural progression over time, and when you lose brain volume, you lose function.”

Rogalski noted that previous research has shown that the cortexes of SuperAgers look less worn than their average 80-year-old peers, and about the same as people in their 50s or 60s.

But a question remained — were the SuperAgers born with brains that have more volume, and thus could better withstand the travails of aging? Or are their brains the same size as everyone else’s, and simply aging less rapidly?

To answer that question, the researchers tracked changes in cortex thickness for a year and a half in 24 SuperAgers and 12 average elderly people.

Both groups lost a significant amount of brain volume to aging, but average elderly people experienced a loss more than twice that of the SuperAgers — over 2.2 percent versus 1.1 percent.

“Part of the reason why they may have different brain volumes is because over the decades they’ve been losing their brain volume at a different rate,” Rogalski said.

The findings were published April 4 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Ezriel Kornel, a neurologist with Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said that at least part of the brain advantage of SuperAgers is genetic, with some people simply gifted at birth.

But there are likely to be environmental influences that also contribute to healthier brain aging, particularly in the womb and in early childhood, Kornel added. For example, research has shown that children raised in poverty tend to have smaller brains.

“There are so many factors involved,” Kornel said. “It could be that even external stressors in childhood can influence how the brain develops.”

Rogalski said that future research will focus on genetic factors that influence brain aging, which hopefully will provide researchers with anti-aging “targets” that could be manipulated with medications or other therapies.

While there’s currently no proven method to preserve cortex volume, research has shown specific lifestyle changes that seniors can perform to help keep themselves sharp as they age, Kornel and Wright said. These include:

Regular physical exercise, including strength training.

A healthy and balanced diet.

Brain workouts that involve challenging puzzles or tasks.

An active social life.

“Everyone understands they’re going to die, but people don’t want to feel they’re losing their ability to think and be who they are,” Kornel said. “This is the next big frontier in science, to figure out how we can prevent overall deterioration of the brain.”

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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training, and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises, and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapists,s, and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

We’ve been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last three decades allowing us to restore our patients’ health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs.

Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, unwanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.

With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age or disability.

Join us in improving your health for you and your family.

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Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 Read More…

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG* 

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico