Chapter

Aging, Brain Plasticity, and Integrative Preventive Medicine

Michael M. Merzenich

in Integrative Preventive Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2017 | ISBN: 9780190241254
Published online December 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190241285 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780190241254.003.0016

Series: Weil Integrative Medicine Library

Aging, Brain Plasticity, and Integrative Preventive Medicine

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This chapter reviews aging and the brain from an important, alternative, still-underappreciated scientific and medical perspective. It briefly describes the history of brain plasticity-related neuroscience, then describes change processes that shape our brains in ways that ultimately distinguish the typical struggling older versus peak-performing younger brain. It considers how and why processes that contribute to personal growth at a younger age are commonly thrown into reverse at an older age. It reviews the development of new brain science–based tools that appear to throw the “plasticity switch” for brain health back in a corrective and strengthening direction, where change processes again support the growth and the more reliable maintenance of physical and functional brain health. Finally, it summarizes how this translational science shall almost certainly evolve to enable a new, neuroscience-directed medical era of brain health management for our older-age populations.

Chapter.  12658 words. 

Subjects: Complementary and Alternative Medicine ; Public Health ; Clinical Medicine

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