Functioning as the command center of the nervous system, the human brain enables many complex processes; as such, maintaining a healthy, well-functioning brain is a critical element of overall health and one of the most important goals in longevity science. As the global population continues to age, the burden of neurological diseases will increase as will the relevance of brain health preservation. In this context, it is vital to understand the intricacies of the brain aging process which contributes to age-related vulnerabilities and is not uniform. It does, however, center around the “4M’s” of brain health – memory, mood, mobility, and mojo – otherwise known as the vital components of optimal brain health.
In the past few years, the connection between the brain, gut, and microbiome has become an increasingly examined topic in the medical research community. As more research continues to prove this bidirectional link, there is a growing awareness of the importance of gut health not just for gastrointestinal health but also for overall physical and mental wellbeing. Studies of the connection between the gut and physical health have revealed the powerful effects of the microbiome on the immune system, mood, energy levels, and a range of other bodily aspects.
June marks the beginning of Brain Awareness Month, a global campaign to raise public awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Increased recognition of neurological disorders has led to further clinical research and the discovery of important mechanisms of action, risk factors, and indicators of declining cognitive function. More recently, the medical community has focused its efforts on better understanding the gut-brain axis, or the connection between the human microbiome and mental health. Discoveries continue to implicate the crucial role of the gut in promoting and maintaining cognitive function, mental clarity, and a stable mood.