CEO Brain Function We Need to Exist

CEO Brain FunctionCEO Brain Function (a.k.a. Executive Brain Function) in humans are extremely advanced. We can use critical thinking, planning or memory in ways that other beings cannot. Our brains also affect mood, behavior and personality, is the repository for language, our visual-spatial orientation as well as where our insight and judgement reside. Imagine what happens when the brain is impaired. Our brains need to be nourished and protected throughout our lives. However, accidents can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) at any age and disease, such as the many possible forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s can begin to adversely affect our brain as we begin to age.  Symptoms can begin years before they are truly noticeable and cause danger to our well-being and functioning.

Memory and Cognitive Disorders

Forgetting names or words, misplacing things are usually the first signs we think of (pardon the pun) when considering brain functioning impairment. Of course these things start occurring in our forties and fifties and usually are not cause for alarm. If you are worried, consider having a baseline cognitive assessment done to allay your fears, or begin a treatment and planning. For the vast majority of people, we find the word we are thinking of comes back to us or if bothered by not remembering the name of an actor – for example, we can look it up. In true impairment, we forget that we forgot the name in the first place. With progressive degenerative diseases which affect executive brain functions, each part of the brain ultimately becomes affected and thereby, their function, what that area controls i.e. frontal-temporal lobe, is unable to function. Short term memory and language, both ability to carry a conversation or understand what is being said are the first CEO brain function to be impaired by Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease, over time (usually years) progressives, it moves into other brain regions and that functioning becomes impaired also.

Tips to Combat Brain Function Impairment

Certainly genetics is involved; it may cause a predisposition but not necessarily a definitive diagnosis. Healthy diet, body and cognitive exercises, listening to music, dealing with stress in a healthy manner can all help to ward of disease in the brain, or perhaps lessen the impact. Medication and other treatments may be helpful as the disease progresses. Research is showing that trying new things is even more critical than doing repetitive things. So, it is good to have a hobby but you need to add to the challenge of it so that new pathways in the brain can be developed. Think of someone knitting, their hands know the stitches so well, they can knit in the dark, so while that is good, it is not challenging to the brain since it is done almost on “auto-pilot”

Learning something new, such as a new language, a new topic of interest, a new game will all challenge the brain. Older folks do learn new things, it may take a little longer to process new information but retirees do have time to spare. Scientists believe that creating the new neural pathways is a key to keeping our brains functioning well. Even taking a different route somewhere, means you have to be actively engaged, and not on “auto-pilot”.  Get lost and then get yourself found, that requires thinking and problem solving; both are exercise for the brain.

When Impairment Advances

Unfortunately, degenerative brain disease, i.e. dementia (from various types) is most likely to worsen. Planning ahead is very important for the spouse, children and all involved loved ones.

Get your legal papers (Power of Attorney, Living Well, Medical Directives, Trusts, etc.) in order while you still have your executive brain functions working optimally?  It is most important to plan while you can still do so relatively appropriately and have a say in your own future.

Meet with your financial planner and Elder Law Attorney to make a comprhensive financial plan.

Consider where you wish to live geographically, what type of help you may need, what your chosen community offers for people with advanced dementia.

Would you consider Assisted Living or Memory Care residences?

Do you have Long Term Care insurance?

Is home care plentiful in your area as an option for when a hired caregiver is needed?

Are there choices for Adult Day Care programs in your chosen area?

What about good medical care? Do you have a choice of Neurologists and treatment programs?

Do you share your diagnosis with loved ones or try to hide it? Are there alternatives to your driving?

There is a lot to think about and plan for should your CEO brain function be adversely affected. The time is the present should you or a loved one gets diagnosed with a Cognitive disorder.