Eat a balanced diet. A balanced, low-fat diet
with ample sources of vitamins B6, B12, and folate will help protect the
nervous system. Make sure that your diet contains lots of fresh fruits,
vegetables, and whole grains.
Drink plenty of water and other
fluids. This helps prevent
dehydration, which can cause confusion and memory
To prevent dehydration during hot weather and
exercise, drink water, rehydration drinks, or other fluids
Drink extra water before, during, and after
exercise. Take a container of water or sports drink
with you when you exercise, and try to drink at least every 15 to 20
Limit your intake of
caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and colas, which increase dehydration and
can affect sleep.
Do not use
alcohol or illegal drugs, which can affect functioning long after
Have your hearing or vision tested. When you do not
hear or see well, it is hard for your brain to record
Set priorities, and concentrate on one thing at a
time. Older adults have a harder time than younger people giving their
attention to more than one activity.
Increase your attention span
and ability to focus by learning new skills.
Keep written notes.
Write all your plans on a calendar where you can look at them
Use a medicine box with spaces for each day. This will help
you remember when to take your medicines. Take your medicines exactly as they
Decrease your use of nonprescription medicines.
Overuse of medicines may be the single biggest cause of nervous system problems
in older adults.
Develop a positive attitude about your abilities.
Reject the notion that nervous system (neurological) functioning declines with
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 28, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this