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The brain is in some ways like a muscle – as we age (past age 30), it becomes a “use it or lose it” situation. The most repeatable research has shown that regular cognitive activity that challenges our skills is the best way to slow the decline (aside from adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and regular cardiovascular exercise – see here for info on general nutrition on brain aging, here for the role of omega-3 fats, and here for the role of cardiovascular fitness, just for starters).

The other intervention that has been demonstrated empirically is learning a new language, especially in an immersion situation – this keeps the brain “young” in ways no other intervention can – see here and here.

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