Mental activity is an important way to develop a stronger, healthier brain through the building of Brain Reserve. Brain Reserve relates to the brain’s ability to physically reorganize itself in response to the demands placed upon it. A brain with a strong Reserve is one that has formed many cellular connections and is rich in brain cell density. A strong reserve is generally believed to have the ability to delay the onset of mental deterioration, such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Simply put, mental diseases must work longer and harder to manifest in a brain that has built up strong reserve.
A healthy brain should look like a lush, vibrant jungle (as opposed to an island with a single palm tree), because it is full of dense cellular connections. You might think of a mental disease like Alzheimer’s as a weed-whacker which invades the brain and begins to do its damage by destroying brain cells. However, it takes AD a much longer time to show any impact if it has to destroy a jungle’s worth of brain cell connections. In contrast, AD can manifest itself fairly quickly after infiltrating a brain with only a relatively few cellular connections. At any point in your life, you can build these connections with a regular, balanced routine of mental stimulation.