Healthy Aging

Aging Well with the Lifestyle Program

Healthy aging is possible and achievable with our comprehensive and holistic Lifestyle Program. Join one of our programs to optimize your brain health.

Even with healthy aging, we can expect minor but noticeable declines in several types of cognitive function.

With advances in public health and modern medicine, we have enjoyed tremendous increases in human longevity; in fact, there has been a greater than 30-year gain in life expectancy over the last century. Currently, the average life expectancy in the United States is 79 years. However, with an increase in longevity, there is also the possibility that we will experience an increase in chronic disease and cognitive decline—for which age is a significant risk factor. 

The aim of our Lifestyle Program at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute is to help you enjoy greater longevity by taking a proactive approach to improving overall health, identifying cognitive changes, and intervening to optimize cognitive function and maximize quality of life.

We used to think that aging led to widespread death of brain cells (neurons) and that, once lost, they could not be regenerated. But recent research on “neuroplasticity” suggests that this is not the case. In fact, the number of neurons in our brains is stable with healthy brain aging, and we now know that new brain cells can even be formed (neurogenesis) in memory centers of the brain well into old age.

Typical brain changes and cognitive decline

More than half of all middle-aged and older adults report concerns with memory loss or cognitive decline as they age. For example, individuals report forgetting the name of someone they’ve just met or not remembering the details of recent events. They might also report moments of forgetfulness, such as why they walked into a room or where they parked their car. 

Changes in cognition are part of the typical aging process and usually do not impair daily functioning; however, as we age there can be a 10% decline in memory per decade (starting around the age of 60).

In addition to noticing changes in short-term memory, some older adults experience changes in language (e.g., more word-finding difficulties), in processing speed (e.g., thinking slower or taking longer to complete tasks), in visual spatial skills (which may impact navigation or driving), and in executive skills (planning, organizing and decision-making).  

Despite these changes, most individuals who are experiencing typical aging still have strong long-term memory (for facts, personal information, their expertise) and continue to exhibit wisdom (knowledge, good judgment).

How to improve brain health with aging

Physical activity and cognitive activities can stimulate brain cell growth. Both mental and physical activities strengthen the synaptic connections between neurons and the ability to remodel connections between cells. This allows for a stronger “network” and the opportunity to improve overall cognitive functioning.  Healthy lifestyle behaviors such as a nutrient dense diet, managing stress, quality sleep and regular social contact are also positively associated with brain health.

Programs We Offer

  • Roadmap to Brain Wellness Consult
    Discuss your brain health goals with Karen Miller, PhD, and develop a customized Roadmap to Brain Wellness for optimal cognitive health.  
  • FitBrain 
    Combined cognitive training and exercise simultaneously to strengthen cognition and brain health and promote longevity.  
  • Vital Minds
    Memory training and lifestyle choices to optimize brain health and stabilize cognitive decline.
  • Memory Care 
    Memory training, mind-body connection/fitness, and support for individuals and couples dealing with cognitive decline, such as dementia. 
  • Lifestyle Coaching
    Discover healthy lifestyle adjustments and behaviors around sleep, stress management, exercise, and/or nutrition.  

Lifestyle Program Location

1301 20th St, Suite 250, Santa Monica, CA 90404

213-344-2037 voicemail for Lifestyle Program

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