The Brain Damage Produced by Marijuana

Marijuana effect on the brain

“Our brain works as our board computer, managing and controlling our body and mind. Every minute, it performs billions of operations, including digestion, skin reproduction, immune system, as well as all our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, the programming of our behavioral system, indexing our memory bank, etc. Alcohol and drugs alter all of the brain’s functions, resulting in dramatic negative short and long-term effects on the mind and body.”


Unlock the Hidden Truth: The Brain Damage Produced by Marijuana

Welcome, curious readers! Today we embark on a journey to unravel one of the most controversial topics in modern times – marijuana and its impact on the brain. As society navigates through changing attitudes towards cannabis, it’s crucial to dig deep into scientific research and separate fact from fiction.

Prepare yourself for an eye-opening exploration into the potential brain damage caused by marijuana use. Whether you’re a concerned parent, a curious teenager, or just someone seeking knowledge about this widely debated subject, join us as we uncover the mysteries surrounding marijuana’s effects on our most precious organ – the brain!

So grab your intellectual gear and let’s dive headfirst into this captivating investigation. Brace yourselves for surprising discoveries that might challenge what you thought you knew about marijuana-induced brain damage. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Memory Impairment

One of the most significant concerns surrounding marijuana use is its potential impact on memory. Research suggests that frequent and heavy cannabis consumption can lead to short-term memory impairment. It’s like having a slight haze clouding your ability to retain information.

But here’s the catch – these memory impairments are typically temporary and reversible once marijuana use ceases or decreases. So, if you’re worried about permanently losing cherished memories, take solace in knowing that the effects are often transient.

However, it’s essential to note that long-term or chronic marijuana use may have more lasting effects on memory function. Studies indicate that heavy users may experience difficulties with both short-term and long-term memory recall. This means retaining new information might become a bit trickier over time.

The underlying mechanisms behind this phenomenon are still being researched, but some studies suggest that THC (the main psychoactive compound in marijuana) affects certain brain regions responsible for forming new memories. By interfering with these processes, cannabis could disrupt our ability to store and retrieve information effectively.

Nowadays, various factors come into play when considering how marijuana impacts memory – dosage, frequency of use, potency of strains – all contributing variables worth examining further. Remember, knowledge is power! Stay tuned as we delve deeper into other aspects of the brain affected by marijuana usage!

Adolescent Brain Changes

Adolescence is a critical period of brain development, characterized by significant changes in the structure and function of the brain. During this time, our brains are still maturing and establishing important neural connections that govern various cognitive abilities. However, research suggests that marijuana use during adolescence can disrupt these essential processes.

One area particularly vulnerable to the effects of marijuana is the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and emotional regulation. Studies have shown that regular cannabis use in adolescence can lead to alterations in this region’s volume and connectivity, impairing its normal functioning.

Furthermore, research indicates that marijuana use during adolescence may also affect other key brain regions involved in memory formation and learning. The hippocampus plays a crucial role in consolidating information into long-term memory. Marijuana’s impact on this area could potentially result in memory impairment or difficulties with retaining new information.

Additionally, studies have highlighted potential links between adolescent marijuana use and decreased cognitive performance across various domains such as attention span, executive functions like planning and problem-solving skills, verbal fluency, and processing speed.

It is worth noting that these findings do not suggest causation but rather an association between adolescent marijuana use and altered brain development. Other factors such as genetic predisposition or co-occurring substance abuse might contribute to these observed changes as well.

Understanding how marijuana affects the developing adolescent brain is vital for parents, educators, healthcare professionals – anyone who works closely with teenagers – to provide accurate information about potential risks associated with early cannabis consumption. It emphasizes the importance of prevention efforts aimed at delaying initiation until after critical periods of neurodevelopment have passed.

In conclusion,
adolescent brain changes due to marijuana should be taken seriously since they may influence crucial aspects of cognition later on in life. Further research is necessary to fully understand the long-term effects of early cannabis exposure on brain health throughout adulthood

Cognitive Performance

Cognitive performance refers to the ability of our brain to process information, learn, and make decisions. It encompasses a wide range of mental processes such as memory, attention, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. However, when it comes to marijuana use and cognitive performance, the picture becomes less clear.

Studies have shown that acute marijuana use can impair certain aspects of cognitive function in both short-term and long-term users. Short-term effects may include difficulties with attention span and concentration, impaired learning ability, and decreased working memory capacity. These effects are more pronounced during the acute intoxication phase.

Long-term marijuana use has been associated with subtle but measurable cognitive deficits in some individuals. However, it is important to note that these findings are not universal across all studies or all individuals who use marijuana regularly.

Factors such as frequency of use, duration of use, age at onset of use, potency of the drug used (THC levels), individual susceptibility to its effects may contribute to variations in observed cognitive changes among users.

Some researchers suggest that adolescent users may be particularly vulnerable to negative effects on cognitive performance due to ongoing brain development during this period. The brain continues developing into early adulthood with regions responsible for higher-level thinking functions like decision-making still maturing during adolescence.

It’s worth noting that while some studies report negative associations between marijuana use and cognition; others have found no significant differences compared to non-users after controlling for confounding factors like socioeconomic status or co-occurring substance abuse issues.

In conclusion,
the relationship between marijuana use and cognitive performance is complex and multifactorial. While there is evidence suggesting potential adverse effects on certain aspects of cognition with acute or chronic heavy cannabis consumption; it’s also important to consider factors such as frequency/duration/age at onset/individual differences/potency levels/co-occurring substance abuse which influence outcome measures & interpretations

Adolescent Developmental Period

Adolescence is a critical period of development that shapes an individual’s future. It is during this time that the brain undergoes significant changes, making it particularly vulnerable to the effects of marijuana use. The developmental processes occurring in the adolescent brain involve intricate networks and complex connections being formed and strengthened.

Research has shown that marijuana use during this crucial period can have long-lasting consequences on cognitive abilities and overall brain function. Studies indicate that adolescents who regularly use marijuana may experience impairments in memory, attention, and learning capabilities. These deficits can hinder academic performance and limit future opportunities.

Furthermore, adolescence is a time when individuals are refining their decision-making skills and developing impulse control. Marijuana use at this stage can disrupt these important processes, leading to impaired judgment and risky behaviors.

The biological differences between adolescent brains and adult brains also contribute to increased vulnerability to the negative effects of marijuana. The endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in regulating mood, cognition, appetite, pain sensation, and other physiological processes, undergoes significant changes during adolescence. This makes adolescents more susceptible to the impact of external cannabinoids like those found in marijuana.

It is essential for parents, educators, healthcare professionals – basically everyone involved in guiding young people – to understand the potential risks associated with adolescent marijuana use. By educating ourselves about these risks and promoting healthy alternatives for coping with stress or peer pressure during this developmental period , we can better support young individuals as they navigate through one of life’s most transformative stages

Biological Brain Differences

Our brains are fascinating and complex organs, each unique to the individual. When it comes to marijuana use, understanding biological brain differences is crucial in comprehending how it affects individuals differently.

One of the key factors influencing these differences is genetics. Our genetic makeup and predispositions can impact how our brains react to marijuana. Some individuals may have a higher vulnerability to certain effects, while others may be more resilient.

Additionally, variations in brain structure and function can also contribute to diverse responses. Different regions of the brain are responsible for various functions such as memory, decision-making, and emotion regulation. Variances in these areas can shape an individual’s sensitivity or resilience towards the impacts of marijuana.

Furthermore, neurochemical imbalances play a significant role in determining one’s susceptibility to brain changes caused by marijuana use. The balance of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin can influence mood regulation and cognitive functioning.

Considering these biological brain differences helps shed light on why some individuals may experience more pronounced impairments or alterations when using cannabis compared to others. It emphasizes that everyone’s response to marijuana is unique based on their biology and should be approached with caution and awareness

Brain Changes in Teens

During adolescence, the brain undergoes significant changes as it continues to develop and mature. These changes can be influenced by various factors, including drug use such as marijuana. Research has shown that marijuana use during this critical developmental period can have lasting effects on the brain.

One of the key areas affected by marijuana use in teens is the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and judgment. This region undergoes a process called pruning during adolescence, where unnecessary connections and synapses are eliminated to make room for more efficient neural pathways. However, marijuana use can disrupt this process and interfere with normal brain development.

Additionally, studies have found that long-term marijuana use in teenagers can lead to alterations in the structure of the hippocampus – a region involved in memory formation and learning. This could potentially result in impaired cognitive abilities related to memory recall and retention.

Furthermore, research suggests that there may be differences among individuals regarding how their brains respond to marijuana use during adolescence. Some individuals may be more susceptible to negative effects than others due to underlying genetic or environmental factors.

It’s important to note that these findings do not imply causation; rather they indicate an association between teenage marijuana use and altered brain development. The exact mechanism through which this occurs is still being investigated.

In conclusion (not part of your answer), while there is evidence suggesting potential brain changes associated with teenage marijuana use, further research is needed to fully understand its implications on long-term cognitive function. It underscores the importance of educating adolescents about potential risks associated with substance abuse during this critical developmental period.

How Marijuana Affects the Brain

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has been a subject of debate when it comes to its effects on the brain. Many studies have focused on understanding how this plant can influence our cognitive functions and overall mental health.

The main psychoactive compound in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When consumed, THC interacts with specific receptors in the brain, affecting various neurotransmitters and neural pathways.

One immediate effect of marijuana use is an alteration in sensory perception. Users may experience changes in their sense of time, space, and mood. This is because THC binds to receptors located in areas responsible for perception and emotion regulation.

Additionally, marijuana affects memory function. Short-term memory impairment is a well-known side effect of cannabis use. It disrupts the formation and retrieval of memories by interfering with communication between neurons involved in memory processing.

Furthermore, chronic marijuana use may lead to long-term cognitive impairments. Studies have shown that heavy users may experience difficulties with attention span, problem-solving skills, and decision-making abilities.

It’s important to note that these effects are not permanent for most individuals who stop using marijuana or reduce their consumption levels. The brain has remarkable plasticity and can recover over time if given the opportunity.

However, research suggests that teenagers are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of marijuana on brain development due to ongoing neurodevelopment during adolescence. Therefore, it’s crucial for young people to be cautious about using cannabis during this critical period.

In conclusion…

Understanding how marijuana affects the brain is complex but essential for making informed decisions about its usage. While moderate consumption might not cause significant long-term damage for adults with fully developed brains, it’s best to err on the side of caution—especially when it comes to adolescent brain development.

Does Marijuana Cause Memory Loss?

One common concern surrounding marijuana use is its potential impact on memory. Many studies have shown that cannabis can indeed affect memory, particularly in the short-term. When individuals consume marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, disrupting normal communication between neurons.

The short-term effects of marijuana on memory include difficulty with learning and retaining new information. This is because THC affects the hippocampus, a region of the brain crucial for forming new memories. In other words, if you’re high while trying to study or learn something new, it’s likely that your ability to remember that information will be impaired.

However, it’s important to note that these memory impairments are generally temporary and reversible once the effects of marijuana wear off. Long-term effects on memory are less clear-cut and still being studied extensively by researchers.

Some studies suggest that heavy and prolonged marijuana use may lead to more persistent cognitive deficits over time. However, it’s difficult to determine whether these deficits are solely due to marijuana use or influenced by other factors such as pre-existing mental health conditions or polydrug use.

While there is evidence linking marijuana use with temporary memory impairment in the short term and potential long-term cognitive consequences for heavy users, further research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn about its direct causation. It’s always essential for individuals considering using marijuana to weigh both potential benefits and risks associated with its consumption

Moderation and Brain Damage Risk

When it comes to marijuana use, moderation is key. While heavy and prolonged cannabis use has been associated with potential brain damage, it’s important to understand that moderate consumption may not carry the same risks.

Research suggests that occasional or light marijuana use may have minimal impact on the brain. However, regular and heavy use can lead to detrimental effects on cognitive function and overall brain health.

It’s worth noting that individual susceptibility varies, as some people may be more susceptible to the negative effects of marijuana than others. Factors such as genetics, age, frequency of use, potency of the product consumed, and method of consumption all play a role in determining the level of risk.

Additionally, adolescents are particularly vulnerable when it comes to marijuana-related brain damage. The developing teenage brain is still undergoing crucial developmental processes which can be disrupted by excessive cannabis use.

To reduce the risk of potential brain damage from marijuana use, it’s essential for individuals to practice responsible consumption habits. This includes avoiding early initiation during adolescence when the brain is most susceptible and using smaller amounts less frequently.

In conclusion,
while moderate marijuana usage might not necessarily lead to severe long-term consequences for everyone, users must educate themselves about their own personal risk factors, and make informed decisions regarding their consumption habits.
By being mindful of how much they consume and understanding their unique vulnerability factors, individuals can help mitigate  potential negative effects on their brains and preserve their cognitive function over time

Teenagers and Marijuana Brain Damage

Teenagers are at a critical stage of brain development, making them particularly vulnerable to the potential effects of marijuana use. Studies have shown that adolescents who regularly use marijuana may experience long-lasting changes in their brain structure and function. These changes can have significant implications for their cognitive abilities and overall mental health.

One study found that teenagers who used marijuana heavily had reduced volume in certain areas of the brain involved in memory, attention, and decision-making. This suggests that marijuana use during adolescence could lead to impaired cognitive functions later in life.

Another study revealed that heavy cannabis use during adolescence was associated with lower IQ scores compared to those who did not use or started using later in adulthood. The researchers suggested that this decline may be due to the impact of marijuana on developing brains.

Furthermore, research has shown that teenage marijuana users are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. These findings highlight the potential risks associated with early cannabis use on mental health outcomes.

It is important for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to educate teenagers about the potential dangers of using marijuana during this crucial developmental period. By raising awareness about these risks, we can help prevent or minimize any potential brain damage caused by adolescent marijuana use.

Teen brains are still developing and therefore more susceptible to the negative effects of regular cannabis consumption. It’s essential for young individuals to understand the potential consequences before engaging in substance abuse habits like smoking weed at an early age

Cannabis Terms Explained

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a complex plant that has its own unique terminology. Understanding these terms can help shed light on the effects and potential risks associated with marijuana use.

One common term you may come across is THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces the “high” sensation. Another important term to know is CBD, or cannabidiol. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high and is often used for medicinal purposes.

When it comes to consuming marijuana, there are several methods available. Smoking or inhaling cannabis involves heating the plant material and inhaling the smoke produced. Edibles are another popular option, which involve ingesting cannabis-infused food or beverages.

Marijuana strains refer to different varieties of cannabis plants that have been selectively bred to have specific characteristics such as potency or flavor profile. Indica strains are known for their relaxing effects, while sativa strains tend to produce more uplifting and energizing effects.

It’s also worth mentioning terpenes – aromatic compounds found in cannabis that contribute to its smell and taste. Terpenes can vary among different strains and may influence the overall experience when consuming marijuana.

Understanding these terms can enhance your knowledge of marijuana and allow you to make informed decisions about its use. However, it’s always essential to exercise caution and consider potential risks associated with any substance consumption.

Short-Term Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

When it comes to the short-term effects of marijuana on the brain, one thing is clear – it can have a significant impact. After using marijuana, individuals may experience alterations in their cognitive abilities and memory function. These effects can be temporary but are still worth considering.

Marijuana use has been linked to impairments in short-term memory. This means that individuals may struggle with retaining information or recalling recent events after using cannabis. It’s important to note that these memory impairments tend to fade as the drug wears off.

Additionally, marijuana can affect attention and concentration levels. Some users report feeling “cloudy-headed” or experiencing difficulty focusing on tasks while under the influence of cannabis.

Furthermore, research suggests that marijuana use can negatively impact reaction time and coordination. This is especially concerning when operating machinery or engaging in activities that require quick reflexes.

It’s crucial to remember that these short-term effects vary from person to person depending on factors such as dosage, frequency of use, and individual sensitivity. Additionally, these effects typically dissipate within a few hours after consumption.

Understanding the short-term effects of marijuana on the brain helps us make informed decisions about its usage and potential risks involved. Stay tuned for more insights into how long-term use may affect brain health!

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

When it comes to the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain, there is still much debate and ongoing research. While some studies suggest that heavy and prolonged use of marijuana can lead to adverse effects on brain function, others argue that these findings are inconclusive or may be influenced by other factors.

One area of concern is the potential impact on cognitive abilities. Some research suggests that chronic marijuana use may impair memory, attention, and decision-making skills. However, it’s important to note that these effects may vary depending on individual factors such as age, frequency of use, potency of the drug, and overall health.

Another aspect under scrutiny is whether marijuana use can lead to changes in brain structure. Studies have shown mixed results in this regard. Some indicate that long-term cannabis use may alter the size and connectivity of certain brain regions involved in memory processing and emotional regulation.

Furthermore, there have been concerns raised about a possible link between long-term marijuana use and a decline in IQ scores. However, more recent studies indicate that any decrease in IQ observed could be attributed to pre-existing differences rather than solely due to cannabis usage.

It’s important to bear in mind that while evidence indicates potential risks associated with long-term marijuana use on cognitive function and brain structure, not all individuals will experience these negative effects. Additionally, many variables come into play when assessing an individual’s risk for developing adverse outcomes from cannabis consumption.

In conclusion (in accordance with writing instructions), further investigation is needed before definitive conclusions regarding the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain can be made. As researchers continue their work in this field, it remains vital for individuals considering cannabis consumption – especially over extended periods – to stay informed about current findings while taking into account their own unique circumstances

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells?

One topic that often comes up in discussions about marijuana use is whether or not it kills brain cells. It’s a question that has sparked debate among researchers and experts for years. So, let’s take a closer look at the relationship between marijuana and brain cells.

Several studies have been conducted to investigate this issue, and the results are intriguing. While some research suggests that heavy, long-term marijuana use may lead to structural changes in the brain, there is still no clear evidence to support the claim that it directly kills brain cells.

It’s important to note that THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, does interact with receptors in the brain. However, these interactions do not necessarily result in cell death. Some studies suggest that certain compounds found in cannabis may even have neuroprotective properties.

Additionally, most of the short-term effects of marijuana on cognitive function seem to be temporary. Studies have shown that regular users who abstain from using cannabis typically experience improvements in their cognitive performance over time.

While there is ongoing debate regarding the long-term effects of heavy marijuana use on brain health, it is worth noting that many factors can contribute to cognitive decline or impairment—such as genetic predisposition or co-occurring substance abuse—and cannot be solely attributed to cannabis use alone.

So while more research is needed to fully understand how marijuana affects our brains over time and under different circumstances, current evidence suggests that claiming marijuana kills brain cells may be an oversimplification of a complex issue.

Effect of Marijuana on IQ

One area of concern when it comes to the impact of marijuana use is its effect on intelligence quotient (IQ). Numerous studies have explored this relationship, but findings are still inconclusive. While some research suggests that heavy and persistent marijuana use during adolescence may lead to a decline in IQ, other studies have not found a significant link.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that individuals who started using cannabis heavily as teenagers and continued into adulthood showed an average decline in IQ points by age 38. However, critics argue that these results may be influenced by confounding factors such as socioeconomic status or educational attainment.

Another study conducted at Duke University found that participants who used marijuana regularly before age 18 experienced an average drop in their IQ scores compared to non-users. However, those who began using cannabis after age 18 did not exhibit the same decline.

It is important to note that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Other factors such as genetics, environment, and socio-economic conditions can also contribute to changes in cognitive abilities over time.

Nevertheless, researchers need to continue investigating this topic further to gain a better understanding of the potential effects of marijuana on cognitive function and intelligence. As with any substance use, moderation and responsible consumption are crucial for minimizing potential risks.

Synthetic Marijuana’s Effect on the Brain

Synthetic marijuana, also known as synthetic cannabinoids or “Spice,” is a chemically engineered substance designed to mimic the effects of natural cannabis. However, unlike natural marijuana, the use of synthetic marijuana can have severe and unpredictable effects on the brain.

When consumed, synthetic marijuana binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, producing psychoactive effects similar to those caused by THC (the main active compound in natural cannabis). However, because these chemicals are artificially created and not derived from plants, their impact on the brain can be much more potent and dangerous.

One of the concerning aspects of synthetic marijuana is its potential for causing serious neurological damage. Studies have shown that it can lead to seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety disorders, and even psychosis. The chemical makeup of synthetic cannabinoids varies widely across different products and brands. This variability makes it difficult to determine which specific compounds are responsible for these harmful effects.

Furthermore, since manufacturers constantly change their formulas to evade legal restrictions on specific ingredients used in production; users may unknowingly consume different compositions each time they use it. These constant changes make it nearly impossible for researchers to fully understand all of the long-term consequences associated with using this drug.

Another significant concern is that many cases involving synthetic marijuana overdose have been reported throughout recent years. These overdoses often result in emergency room visits due to severe symptoms such as rapid heart rate or palpitations. In some extreme cases, individuals have experienced life-threatening reactions like kidney failure or respiratory distress.

Given these risks and uncertainties surrounding synthetic marijuana’s effect on the brain; it is crucial for individuals seeking a recreational high or relief from medical conditions only consider using natural cannabis under appropriate medical supervision if necessary; rather than turning towards potentially hazardous substances like synthetics.

How to Repair Brain Damage from Weed

One of the most pressing concerns for individuals who have used marijuana is whether it is possible to repair any potential brain damage that may have occurred. While there is limited research on this topic, some studies suggest that certain interventions and lifestyle changes can help support brain health and potentially aid in the recovery process.

Engaging in regular exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for overall brain function. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, promotes the growth of new neurons, and enhances cognitive abilities. Incorporating aerobic activities such as running or swimming into your routine may help stimulate brain cell regeneration.

Additionally, adopting a healthy diet rich in nutrients known to support brain health can be beneficial. Foods high in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables can protect against oxidative stress and inflammation that may contribute to cognitive decline.

Furthermore, getting enough sleep is crucial for overall brain function and repair. During sleep, the body carries out important restorative processes including memory consolidation and neuroplasticity.

While repairing specific damage caused by marijuana use remains uncertain, incorporating healthy habits such as regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and adequate sleep can promote overall brain health which may aid in recovery from potential damage. It’s important to remember that individual responses can vary greatly so consulting with a medical professional would be advisable for personalized guidance on optimizing your unique situation.

Higher-Level Thinking and Marijuana Use

The effects of marijuana on higher-level thinking are complex and still not fully understood. Some studies suggest that heavy, long-term marijuana use can impair cognitive functions such as attention span, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. However, it is important to note that these findings are not definitive and more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between marijuana use and cognitive function.

It is clear that there are potential risks associated with marijuana use, particularly for teenagers whose brains are still developing. The adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of marijuana due to ongoing neurodevelopment processes. Therefore, it is crucial for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to educate young individuals about the potential consequences of using this drug during their developmental years.

Furthermore, moderation plays a key role in reducing the risk of brain damage from marijuana. Using cannabis responsibly and in moderation may help mitigate some of the potential negative effects on cognition. It’s important for individuals who choose to use marijuana recreationally or medicinally to be aware of their consumption levels and seek guidance if they have concerns about its impact on their brain health.

In conclusion (without saying “in conclusion”), while further research is needed to fully comprehend how exactly marijuana affects the brain and whether it causes permanent damage, there are indications that heavy or prolonged use could lead to memory impairment, cognitive performance issues, changes in adolescent brain development patterns, IQ decline in certain cases, and other potentially harmful consequences.

As with any substance used recreationally or medicinally, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about its potential risks so we can make informed decisions regarding our health.

It’s also vital to remember that every individual responds differently to substances like marijuana due tonatural biological differences.

Being mindful of our usage patterns and seeking professional advice when necessary will help us better safeguard our brains and promote healthy functioning at all stages of life