Monthly Archives: June 2010

Preventing Brain Loss

Scientific research into declining brain function of middle-aged and older people tries to explain the memory loss and cognitive corrosion baby boomers are experiencing. They point out that our brains are growing exponentially until we reach the ripe old age of “twenty.” Learning after that is harder. Our brain function peeks at twenty and then plateaus until we reach fifty. Then it is down- hill from there.

Learning at that late age must overcome the shrinkage of the brain and especially the spines of our motor neurons, etc, etc (they say).  This can all be drawn out on a bell-curve chart (for those who are unable to “imagine” what is happening). The chart clearly shows the rise and fall of our mental prowess The study’s author graciously points out the counter weights of experience and wisdom that still gives the older person a great advantage in thinking , if not in learning.

Memory loss, the study points out is expected and normal. The “world” loves to compare people. It loves to “graph” things and find the “mean,” or the average person. Experts scientifically compare performance, behavior, and skill, and chart the pass (acceptable) and fail (unacceptable) social norms and abilities of reasonable intelligence. There are two problems with that. The first is that in any given sample there are always “exceptions.” I have known some people who on their worst day are better than other people I have met, are on their best day. Having said all that, I have good news.  God does not plot us on some grid or graph. He does not take a poll and decide what is “now” or what is normal. God does not see anyone as a “statistic.” We do all of these things and we are fools for doing so. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, [they] are not wise” 2 Corinthians 10:12.

The Baby Boomer may not run as fast as he once did. (The younger Apostle John outran the older Apostle Peter in the rush to the empty tomb). Nor is the Boomer as quick learn a new language (Greek or Geek),or memorize the lyrics of the latest Lady Gaga warble, but God, the Bible says, “knows all our thoughts” (Ps. 139:2), and nothing will keep our brains in better shape than thinking of Him.      – Ingimar DeRidder