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Vital 6 for brain health
July 5, 2024

Vital 6: Core Pillars for Brain Health

by PNI Experts

By Karen Miller, PhD, Ryan Glatt, MS, CPT, NBC-HWC, and Shannel Elhelou, PsyD

Optimize Your Brain Health for Enhancing Mood and Managing Cognitive Changes

Did you know that more than 20% of adults over the age of 55 experience depression, anxiety, or cognitive decline as they age? Have you noticed some of these symptoms or memory issues? Well, the good news is that it’s possible to be proactive and change the course of your brain health for the better. Neuroscience offers insight into prioritizing brain wellness to address mood and cognitive changes. To optimize cognitive functioning and mental wellbeing, we offer courses that focus on the 6 core pillars for cognitive wellness: sleep, stress management, nutrition, exercise, socialization, and cognitive training.

Vital 6: Core Pillars for Cognitive Wellness

Chronic stress can lead to memory difficulties and mood disorders. Stress management techniques can optimize cognitive functioning and mental health. Incorporate science-based stress reduction techniques to enhance cognitive resilience and protect against damage and disease.

Better mood and brain health is related to quality sleep and addressing sleep disorders. Enhance brain health with proven sleep habits that boost memory and remove harmful toxins from the brain.

Science-based nutrition habits are associated with improved cognitive function and decreased dementia risk. The Mediterranean diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and healthy fats) leads to living longer and healthier lives, along with improving hypertension and diabetes.

Prevent cognitive decline and dementia with exercise education and innovative cognitive fitness training. Engaging in >150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week increases blood flow to the brain, encourages growth of new neurons, and improves memory. Exercise reduces stress levels and improves mood.

Engagement with friends and families reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness, provides mental stimulation, and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. Creating and maintaining meaningful connections enhances purpose, resilience, and longevity.

Aging adults benefit from mental exercises that stimulate neural connections and enhance memory. Evidence-based techniques improve attention, memory, executive skills, and language. Customized cognitive training can manage cognitive changes related to normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Brain Wellness & Lifestyle Program at Pacific Neuroscience Institute

The Brain Wellness and Lifestyle program at Pacific Neuroscience Institute® offers personalized guidance to help optimize the 6 core pillars of your cognitive health. Our program incorporates curated courses that blend science-based interventions with holistic care, offering comprehensive support for your cognitive health. Backed by research, our methods have been specifically designed to empower individuals to take control of their cognitive well-being. Courses are available in-person or virtual, as well as group or individual sessions.

You can learn more about all our course offerings at 213-344-2037 or

Adapted from original article published in the Santa Monica Star, April 2024 issue.

Brain Wellness & Lifestyle Specialists

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Last updated: July 3rd, 2024